Pirates’ struggles continue

Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco belts a three-run homer during the second inning of Wednesday night's game with the Giants. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Buster Posey threw out John Jaso attempting to steal second base to end the game, Joe Panik’s two-run double capped a three-run sixth inning, and the San Francisco Giants rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Wednesday night.

Panik put the Giants ahead after Ramiro Pena made it a one-run game with an RBI double earlier in the inning. NL West-leading San Francisco has won 11 of its last 13 and scored 73 runs in that stretch.

The Giants’ Jeff Samardzija matched the shortest start of his nine-year career with just three innings and was tagged for six runs and six hits. He also recorded just nine outs on Sept. 15, 2015, while pitching for the Chicago White Sox against Oakland. However, five relievers followed with a combined six scoreless innings.

Rookie Derek Law (3-1), who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, pitched two innings after Samardzija for the win. Santiago Casilla worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 15th save, the game ending when Posey caught Jaso attempting to steal after Gregory Polanco struck out – with Andrew McCutchen on deck.

Pena, Denard Span and Brandon Crawford each had two of the Giants’ 12 hits. Pena also drove in two runs as San Francisco won back-to-back games at PNC Park for the first time since 2011.

Jared Hughes (0-1) gave up all three sixth-inning runs for the Pirates, who lost for the 17th time in 22 games. They blew a 6-1 lead despite getting home runs from Jaso, Polanco and Jung Ho Kang. Polanco had a three-run shot in the second inning among his three hits.

Pirates starter Francisco Liriano allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.

An RBI single by Crawford in the fourth started the Giants’ comeback, and they closed to within two runs at 6-4 an inning later as Posey doubled in a run and Angel Pagan followed with a sacrifice fly.

Jaso led off the first inning with a home run for the second time this season and sixth time in his career to open the scoring. It was his fourth homer overall this season. Later in the inning, Matt Joyce’s RBI single made it 2-0.

Pena singled in a run in the top of the second, but Polanco extended the Pirates’ lead to 5-1 with his career-high 10th homer, a blast to right field in the bottom of the inning.

Kang’s leadoff homer in the third, his 10th, made it 6-1 – but the Pirates didn’t score again.


The Pirates recalled LHP Kyle Lobstein from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned RHP Wilfredo Boscan to the same club. Lobstein pitched one scoreless inning.


Giants: RHP Albert Suarez (2-1, 3.69 ERA) will make his fourth career start and 10th appearance today in the finale of the four-game series.

Pirates: LHP Jon Niese (6-4, 4.74) has lost his last two starts, giving up a combined 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings.