Bucs Deal Moroff and Luplow to Cleveland for Erik Gonzalez and two pitchers!!

Indians send INF Gonzalez to Pirates in 5-player swap
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians traded versatile infielder Erik Gonzalez to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player swap.
Cleveland sent Gonzalez, who appeared in 81 games for the AL Central champions last season, and right-handers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza to the Pirates for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
Gonzalez batted .265 with one homer and 16 RBIs last season for Cleveland, which signed the Dominican native in 2009. Gonzalez filled a utility role for the Indians, but was not going to be able to get into the starting lineup behind All-Stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
The 25-year-old Luplow brings needed depth to Cleveland’s outfield, which was decimated by injuries last season. He appeared in 64 games over the past two seasons with the Pirates, who named him their top minor league player in 2017.
Moroff has split the last three seasons between Triple-A Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, appearing in 26 games for the Pirates in 2018.
___
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Brewers take Game 1

Reliever Woodruff’s homer stuns Kershaw, Brewers take Game 1
By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The high-five at the plate from Brandon Woodruff nearly took out Lorenzo Cain.
It’s not often that reliever hits a home run.
Batting left-handed. Off lefty Clayton Kershaw. In the playoffs.
Woodruff stunned the ace with an early home run and Milwaukee’s normally shutdown bullpen held on — barely — as the Brewers beat the sloppy Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 Friday night in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.
Hard-throwing Josh Hader and the Brewers earned their 12th straight win, one shy of the franchise record set to open the 1987 season.
Woodruff, of all people, had the momentum-swinging hit.
“It’s something obviously coming into the day, you don’t know in your wildest dreams that’s going to happen,” he said.
It was the first time in postseason history that a pitcher homered in a lefty vs. lefty matchup. Woodruff was understandably was pumped as he rounded the bases.
“He was fired up when he came home. He nearly broke my arm,” Cain said.
The Dodgers scored three times in the eighth to make it 6-4, then nearly tied it in the ninth. Chris Taylor hit an RBI triple off Cain’s glove in deep center field with two outs before Corey Knebel fanned Justin Turner to end it.
Game 2 is Saturday at Miller Park, with Wade Miley pitching for the Brewers against Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers did some damage against the Brewers’ bullpen. Milwaukee used seven pitchers, including three scoreless innings from Hader. Woodruff threw two perfect innings and got the win.
“But for us to get a look at these guys out of the ‘pen in a seven-game series, I think that’s a good thing,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Manny Machado homered and drove in three runs for Los Angeles. The Dodgers committed four errors, including two by catcher Yasmani Grandal, who also had two passed balls.
NERVOUS MOMENTS
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell’s pitching-by-committee strategy continued to be a hit, at least until the late innings.
Finally, the hard-throwing Knebel restored order by striking out Turner. Knebel walked Joc Pederson with two outs before Taylor’s long drive.
“It’s the postseason and anything can happen, you saw right there. It was a good feeling for it to go our way right there at the end,” Knebel said.
STUNNING HOMER
After starter Gio Gonzalez went two innings, nicked by Machado’s home run, Woodruff entered in the top of the third. In the bottom half, Woodruff made a sudden impact — with his bat.
Woodruff became just the third relief pitcher to homer in the postseason, tagging a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner for a tying solo drive. Woodruff pumped both arms as he rounded first base, while Kershaw turned away and looked down at the ground.
“I knew he could swing the bat a little bit, for sure,” Kershaw said. “I didn’t know he could do that, but I knew he could hit a little bit.”
Woodruff was a career 4 for 22 (.222) hitter before connecting. He had one previous homer, in July against Pittsburgh’s Nick Kingham.
DODGER BLUES
Kershaw was chased before he could retire a batter in the fourth inning.
It was another miserable October night for the lefty, whose regular-season brilliance has often disappeared in the postseason.
And it wasn’t even Christian Yelich and the Brewers’ stars who got to him. Hernan Perez hit a sacrifice fly later in the third, and pinch-hitter Domingo Santana had a two-run single in the fourth for a 4-1 lead that chased Kershaw from the mound with nobody out.
It was the shortest postseason start of Kershaw’s career. He had a 4.65 ERA in 10 career appearances, including seven starts, going into Friday.
That ERA went up after allowing six hits and five runs — four earned — in three-plus innings.
“The errors affected the game. But as far as Clayton, I just think it was poor execution,” Roberts said.
Jesus Aguilar added a solo home run in the seventh for the Brewers, his second of the postseason. Cain went 3 for 5 and scored a run.
BURGER TIME
Eat up, Milwaukee.
This late-season run earned Brewers fans a free burger at an area restaurant chain.
George Webb Restaurants has a long-standing promotion to give away a free burger whenever the Brewers win 12 straight.
It’s time to dine after a dozen.
Save the date: October 18, George Webb announced after the game . Save one for reliever Jeremy Jeffress, too.
“Honestly, as long as you put some mayo on it I’m good with it,” he said.
George Webb also paid up in 1987.
UP NEXT
It’s another all left-handed pitching matchup in Game 2. Ryu pitched seven shutout innings, striking out seven and allowing for hits, in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Braves in the Division Series. Ryu is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four career postseason starts. Miley is making his second start of the postseason, going 4 2/3 innings in the Brewers’ Division Series-clinching victory over Colorado on Sunday. He is 4-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 15 career games against the Dodgers.
___
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

PIRATES-MARLINS MAKEUP GAME FOR OCTOBER 1 CANCELLED

PIRATES-MARLINS MAKEUP GAME FOR OCTOBER 1 CANCELLED
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that its September 9, 2018 game against the Marlins at PNC Park that was postponed due to rain and rescheduled for October 1, 2018 has now been cancelled.

With the Pirates’ elimination from the Wild Card race, the game no longer has Postseason implications. Fans still holding tickets from the September 9 game can exchange them for any April or May home game in 2019, excluding the Home Opener on April 1 vs. St. Louis. For more information, visit pirates.com/raincheck.

Frazier hits walk off homer in the 11th. Bucs and Cubs split series

Frazier homers as Pirates top Cubs 2-1 in 11 innings
By WES CROSBY, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh’s pitchers delivered once again, and Adam Frazier rewarded them with one big swing.
Frazier hit a game-ending homer in the 11th inning, and the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series.
Josh Harrison grounded out and Adeiny Hechavarria struck out before Frazier drove a 3-0 pitch from Brandon Kintzler (1-3) deep to right. It was Frazier’s fifth homer of the season.
“It’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been going around the bases,” Frazier said. “It was pretty cool.”
The Cubs had a prime scoring chance against Richard Rodriguez (3-2) in the top half of the inning, but came up empty. Addison Russell was picked off third by catcher Elias Diaz, and Albert Almora Jr. struck out looking with the bases loaded with two out.
“We tried that play because the situation dictated it,” Diaz said about the pickoff. “(Wilson Contreras) showed bunt and (Russell) was waiting for the bunt and was halfway (down the third-base line). So, that’s why we called the play, and we executed. It felt great. It saved a run. It was beautiful.”
NL Central-leading Chicago managed just one run in each game of the series, but took the first two behind strong pitching performances by Jon Lester and Cole Hamels. It was the fewest runs allowed by Pittsburgh in a four-game series since it also allowed four against St. Louis from July 30-Aug. 2, 1992.
“We have to get our offense straightened out,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I can’t make any excuses for it. There are none. We just have to get better. But we did pitch. We played great defense. We did a lot of really good things. We just didn’t hit the baseball.”
The Cubs lost two straight for the first time since July 27-28.
Chicago jumped in front on Kyle Schwarber’s 22nd homer off Jameson Taillon in the second. Schwarber belted a ball just foul past the pole in left field before driving the next pitch into the last row beyond right field.
Schwarber also connected during Friday night’s 1-0 victory.
“That was a different series, that’s for sure,” Schwarber said. “The pitching was on all four games. You tip your hat to their side, to what they were able to do the last two days. All four days. What did we score? Four runs in four days, and won two games. Tip the hat to their team, and you obviously tip the hat to our pitchers too.”
Gregory Polanco hit a tying RBI double for Pittsburgh in the sixth. Carl Edwards Jr. then replaced Jose Quintana with runners on second and third and no outs, and wiggled out of the jam.
Quintana allowed four hits, struck out four and walked two. The veteran left-hander was just 1-3 with a 7.52 ERA in his previous four starts.
Pittsburgh had a chance to win it in the ninth after Pedro Strop walked Hechavarria and hit Frazier to load the bases. But Maddon employed a five-man infield and Corey Dickerson grounded into a 4-9-3 double play, ending the inning.
Taillon struck out eight in six innings. He allowed five hits and walked three.
“Jameson had to roll up his sleeves,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The numbers are good. The results are really good, but there was work to be done today by him.”
DARVISH’S DAY
Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish lasted just one inning in his rehab start with Class A South Bend, casting doubt on his availability for the rest of the year. Darvish, who has been sidelined by triceps and elbow injuries, said he would ask for an MRI when he got back to Chicago.
He wasn’t sure if would miss the rest of the year.
“I can’t really tell right now,” Darvish said. “It depends how I feel tomorrow. I really want to come back this season. I am going to work hard and do my best to try and come back.”
Maddon didn’t provide any additional information following the loss.
UP NEXT
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 4.11 ERA) gets the ball at Detroit on Tuesday. He is 3-0 with a 4.38 ERA in his last four starts.
Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (4-5, 4.49 ERA) faces visiting Atlanta on Monday. Archer is 1-0 with a 5.65 ERA in three starts since he was acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay.
___
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Bucs swept by the Twins lose 6-4.

Forsythe has 3 RBIs in Twins’ 6-4 win over Pirates
By MIKE COOK, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Logan Forsythe may be best known by Minnesota fans as the player who replaced fan favorite Brian Dozier.
The lone major leaguer of the three players the Dodgers sent to the Upper Midwest on July 31 for the second baseman, Forsythe has filled in capably.
Forsythe had three RBIs, the Minnesota bullpen tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and the Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Wednesday.
In 13 games with Minnesota, Forsythe is hitting .386 with six multi-hit games. He had eight in 70 games this season with the Dodgers.
“It’s about consistency and these guys throwing me out there every day and letting me play my game is luckily paying off getting some hits and playing some good ball,” he said.
Oliver Drake, Gabriel Moya (3-0), Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers allowed five hits and struck out three before Trevor Hildenberger picked up his third save in four chances.
Minnesota is 16-4 in its past 20 home games.
Josh Harrison had three hits for the Pirates, who were 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Pittsburgh has dropped three straight.
Forsythe’s two-run single off reliever Edgar Santana (2-2) highlighted a three-run sixth as the Twins took a 5-4 lead.
“He just has a calmness about situational hitting. He knows how to execute, he knows how to put the ball in play for a chance to get guys in from third, hits the ball up the middle really well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Pirates starter Chris Archer retired 10 straight batters before giving up back-to-back singles, including an RBI by Jorge Polanco, to start the sixth, ending his day.
Acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31, Archer allowed four earned runs and six hits in five innings. In his first three starts with the Pirates, Archer has allowed nine earned runs in 14 1/3 innings.
“They had some productive at-bats,” he said. “They fouled some, they had some good takes. But I got to be better than that. I am better than that. And I will be better than that.”
Minnesota starter Jose Berrios allowed four runs — three earned — as he labored through 3 2/3 innings, his shortest start since April 29.
After a 1-2-3 first, Pittsburgh had at least two runners on in three straight innings, with a two-run single by Gregory Polanco putting the Pirates up 4-2 in the fourth. Elias Diaz homered to start the inning.
Berrios has allowed nine earned runs in 12 2/3 innings in three August starts.
NIGHT AND DAY
Berrios is 8-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 13 nights starts this season, but 3-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 12 day starts. Both his complete games have been during the day.
ROUGH DAY
Pittsburgh C Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch for a team-high 11th time in the second inning. One inning later, he fouled a ball off his foot — and took a minute to walk it off — before striking out on a called third strike at the knees. He briefly jumped up and down and said a few words to umpire Doug Eddings.
In the fifth, Cervelli tagged Joe Mauer on what he thought was a third strike and took a couple of steps to the dugout. However, Eddings called it a ball, leading to another discussion.
WEST IS SECOND BEST
Umpire Joe West worked his 5,164th career game, passing Bruce Froemming for second all time. Bill Klem worked 5,375.
“We got Dom Perignon for him. The base he worked. It’ll never happen again, ever. … It’s history. No one is close enough to ever get there again,” Eddings said.
TRAINERS ROOM
Pirates: CF Starling Marte missed the game with an illness. … SS Jordy Mercer, who left Tuesday’s came with left calf discomfort, did not play.
Twins: OF Robbie Grossman, on the disabled list since Aug. 6 with a right hamstring strain, will go to Triple-A Rochester on a rehab assignment. The plan is for him to DH Thursday, then play a couple of games in the outfield before being evaluated.
UP NEXT
Pirates: Face division-leading Chicago at PNC Park Thursday to begin a four-game series with RHP Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.42 ERA) scheduled to start the opener.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (0-1, 6.53) takes to the hill Thursday when Minnesota opens a four-game home series against Detroit.
___
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Bucs fall to Twins 5-2!!!

Polanco, Sano fuel Twins in 5-2 win over Pirates
By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Miguel Sano has embodied this season of disappointment for the Minnesota Twins, with his approach, health and performance all needing a reset.
Maybe all he needed was a haircut.
Jorge Polanco had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs and Sano followed with a two-run homer, leading the Twins to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
After sporting the dreadlocks look and letting his mane grow for three years, Sano had his head neatly shorn before the game.
“It’s a little bit of a struggle here for us, and I try to do something positive,” said Sano, who has nine home runs in 200 at-bats and is hitting .220 with 85 strikeouts this season. “But you know, we just hang in. Hair or no hair, we try to hit the ball and make a play.”
With his no-doubt, opposite-field drive off Richard Rodriguez in the eighth , Sano homered at Target Field for the first time since May 31. He missed 24 games with a strained left hamstring and was later sent to the minor leagues for more conditioning. Slowly upon his return, Sano has begun to look more like the slugger the Twins have been hoping to build their future around.
“I think he’s been real close to clicking on some balls,” manage Paul Molitor said. “My observation is that the swings and misses are a lot less frequent, his chases out of the zone are a lot more rare.”
Jake Odorizzi (5-7) won for the first time in six starts, striking out nine in 5 2/3 innings. Trevor Hildenberger, the fourth reliever of the game for the Twins, pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save since the trade of closer Fernando Rodney.
Polanco hit a two-run single in the fourth inning before Jake Cave’s RBI single put the Twins in front. The Twins, who began the day 12½ games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland, are 15-4 in their last 19 home games. That’s too little too late for a team that expected Sano and Polanco to help lead the charge. Polanco served an 80-game suspension for using a performance-enhancing substance.
“They’re key parts of this team, obviously this year but for years to come,” Odorizzi said. “You can build a team around a good left side of the infield, and we have two really good ones. You saw Sano’s power: It’s pretty unmatched. His arm at third is pretty unmatched as well.”
The Pirates, who started this series with a five-game deficit in the NL wild-card race with three teams between them and the second spot, lost for only the fourth time in 16 games against AL teams this year.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon (9-9) finished six innings and allowed three earned runs, the 14th straight time he’s taken the mound and surrendered no more than that. Taillon has logged six innings in 10 of those starts, and he’s 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in his last six turns.
David Freese, who three hits, singled and scored on Francisco Cervelli’s double as the Pirates went up 2-0 in the second. But Tyler Duffey struck out Cervelli with two on to end the sixth and Matt Magill retired Cervelli on a popup with the bases loaded in the eighth, both times with the Twins clinging to a 3-2 lead.
JOE WEST, NOT A YOUNG MAN
Home plate umpire Joe West worked his 5,163rd game, tying Bruce Froemming for the second-most of all time. Bill Klem is first with 5,375. West, whose 40-year career is the longest in major league history, did not go unnoticed, either. He called strike three in Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison’s first two at-bats, and Harrison argued the same pitches he was rung up went against the Pirates on defense.
“We all want a fair shake, man. That’s all it’s about, is being consistent,” Harrison said. “We know you’re not perfect, but at the end of the day, we work too hard for people to shut us down on pitches that we know are balls.”
Said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle: “Joe’s been around a long time. I know one thing, agitating him doesn’t work very well either. You just try and work with him.”
BUXTON’S BACK, SORT OF
Twins CF Byron Buxton returned to action with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, going 3 for 5 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer. He recently aggravated a left wrist injury, the latest in a series of setbacks this season. Buxton has played in only 28 games for Minnesota and 23 games for Rochester in 2018.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: SS Jordy Mercer left the game in the middle of the fifth inning with discomfort in his left calf and was replaced by Adeiny Hechavarria.
Twins: OF Robbie Grossman, who’s missed eight games with a strained right hamstring, could be reinstated from the DL on Thursday.
UP NEXT
Pirates: Recently acquired RHP Chris Archer (4-5, 4.36 ERA) pitches on Wednesday afternoon.
Twins: All-Star RHP Jose Berrios (11-8, 3.66 ERA) takes the mound in the matinee finale of the two-game series.
___
For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Bucs drop finale to Giants 4-3

Rodriguez sparkles again, Giants beat Pirates 4-3
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A year ago, Dereck Rodriguez was down in Double-A ball, a converted outfielder hoping to take a new path as a pitcher.
A non-roster invite to spring training, Rodriguez finally got the call to the majors in late May.
Since then, he’s sparkled.
Rodriguez threw seven innings of two-hit ball to continue his fine rookie season and San Francisco beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Sunday.
“He finds a way,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s just been so consistent getting us deep in the game. What a job he’s done since he’s come up. It’s a great story.”
Rodriguez (6-1) faced three batters over the minimum, allowing one run with four strikeouts and a walk. Both hits off him came in the second inning.
The 26-year-old righty has a 2.25 ERA, lowest among NL rookies.
“He stayed off the barrel,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I didn’t think we got caught up in overswinging at all. We were trying to square him up, trying to hit it hard where he pitched it. We were unable to do a whole lot of that.”
Rodriguez has been San Francisco’s most consistent pitcher this season. He is tied for the team lead in wins and has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last eight starts.
“After every start I sit back and look at what’s been happening the last couple of months,” Rodriguez said. “From where I was this time last year to where I’m at this year, it’s a big change.”
With five consecutive wins, Bochy believes Rodriguez deserves to be in the discussion for rookie of the year.
“You look at how consistent he’s been, you look at the numbers, without question he has to be in that talk and consideration,” Bochy said. “He’s doing all he can do and more than we thought. We knew he would be pretty good but he’s even exceeded that.”
Nick Hundley and Joe Panik each drove in two runs for the Giant and Gorkys Hernandez scored twice.
Starling Marte had a two-run double for the Pirates.
The Giants went 2-4 on their six-game homestand largely because their bullpen failed to hold two late leads against Houston, including one that cost Rodriguez a chance to win.
It nearly happened again.
Pittsburgh scored twice on Marte’s two-out double off reliever Reyes Moronta in the eighth, but Tony Watson retired Gregory Polanco with the tying run on second.
Will Smith pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
Hundley hit an RBI triple off Joe Musgrove (4-7) in the third and singled home a run in the fourth.
LITTLE SUPPORT
Musgrove allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked one but got little run support for the third consecutive start. Pittsburgh was shut out in Musgrove’s previous two starts and scored only one run while he was on the mound Sunday.
“It’s not my job to worry about that,” Musgrove said. “I feel like I’m continuing to throw the ball really well right now.”
PIRATES MOVE
Pittsburgh utility player Christopher Bostick was acquired by Miami for cash. Bostick, who played in two games for the Pirates this season, was designated for assignment last week.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli did not start after getting hit in the facemask by a foul tip in the first inning of Saturday’s game. Cervelli struck out looking as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Giants: RHP Hunter Strickland (fractured right hand) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. The reliever is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 18.
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (9-8, 3.63 ERA) faces the Twins in Minnesota on Tuesday. Taillon is 5-1 in his previous seven road starts.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-4, 2.69) opposes Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles on Monday. Bumgarner pitched seven scoreless innings against Houston in his most recent start.

Pirates spoil Bonds’ special night beat Giants 4-0

Williams helps Pirates blank Giants 4-0
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates lead the major leagues with 13 shutouts. Trevor Williams was the starting pitcher in seven of them.
Manager Clint Hurdle doesn’t think it’s a coincidence, either.
Williams and two relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Pirates blanked the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Saturday night.
“He sets the tone for things,” Hurdle said. “When that fastball has the finish like it had tonight, that’s when you’re seeing the outings that you see him string together. He keeps everybody engaged.”
Williams (10-8) allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. The right-hander has allowed two runs over his last 29 innings — a 0.62 ERA.
“It’s the work in between starts,” Williams said. “(Pitching coach Ray Searage) and I highlighted stuff that we needed to work on and made it more process-driven. We recognized right away that it was my four-seam and sinker tonight were going to play.”
Williams had been scheduled to pitch a day earlier, but Hurdle went with Clay Holmes to give the rest of the rotation extra rest.
It worked just fine.
“He’s pitching down in the zone and getting a lot of early contact,” Pirates first baseman Josh Bell said. “He keeps us off our feet and keeps us in the dugout.”
Keone Kela and Felipe Vazquez each retired three batters to complete the shutout.
Bell homered for the second time in three days. Elias Diaz added two hits for the Pirates after coming in as an injury replacement for Francisco Cervelli.
The start of the game was delayed for a ceremony honoring home run king Barry Bonds, who became the 10th player in Giants history to have his jersey retired. Several of his former teammates and managers, including Dusty Baker and Jim Leyland, were on hand.
Williams was warming up in right field when Bonds jogged out to greet the fans in the left field stands.
“I felt like such a jerk out there,” Williams said. “It was weird timing. I felt like all the eyeballs were burning a hole through me.”
Buster Posey and Evan Longoria had two hits apiece for San Francisco. The Giants have lost nine of their last 11 home games.
“You could feel the crowd, the energy. We just couldn’t get it going offensively,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “The three-run homer, that’s a pretty good punch there.”
Bell continued his strong series since coming off the disabled list earlier in the week. He stopped a 0-for-13 slide with a homer on Thursday, and then had three hits on Friday.
After grounding into a double play in his first at-bat Saturday, Bell hit his eighth homer off Ty Blach (6-7) in the fourth. Bell’s three-run drive came after Gregory Polanco bunted for a leadoff hit and David Freese reached on an infield single.
Blach allowed four runs over four innings in his first start since May 27.
DANDY DEBUT
In his first major league appearance since 2016 with Atlanta, Casey Kelly made quite a Giants debut a day after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento.
The right-hander pitched five scoreless innings in relief. He could be a candidate to start Friday at Cincinnati when the Giants need a fifth starter again.
“What a great job he did,” Bochy said. “Really pitched well. He’s been throwing the ball well. That’s why he’s up here.”
WORTH NOTING
The Pirates called up left-hander Buddy Boshers and right-hander Michael Feliz from Triple-A Indianapolis. Right-handers Clay Holmes and Casey Sadley were sent down.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: Cervelli left in the fourth as a precaution getting hit in the facemask by a foul tip in the first. Cervelli has had concussion issues in the past.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt (hyperextended knee) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento.
UP NEXT
Right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (5-1, 2.34 ERA) pitches the series finale for San Francisco. Rodriguez leads NL rookies in ERA and is tied for second in wins. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (4-6, 3.41 ERA) goes for the Pirates.
__
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Bucs late rally falls short. Giants 13 Bucs 10

Posey, McCutchen lead Giants past Pirates 13-10
By GIDEON RUBIN, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants finally got their offense going, and they needed it to survive another shaky performance from their bullpen.
Buster Posey got four hits, Andrew McCutchen homered against his former team and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-10 on Friday night.
“They just started swinging with I think more authority,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Giants had lost three in a row and Pittsburgh had won three straight.
Posey broke out of a 0-for-13 stretch with his second four-hit game in less than two weeks. All four hits came in the first four innings as the Giants built a 10-2 lead.
He’s the first Giants player with four hits through the first four innings of a game since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958.
Posey and Alen Hanson each drove in three runs. McCutchen hit a leadoff homer and later drew four walks for a San Francisco team that batted .212 and averaged 2.7 runs over its previous six games.
“They were letting it go tonight,” Bochy said. “It was good to see them have some success, I mean we’ve been shut down, we’ve been due for a game like this where we break it open, even though they came back and made it a game. ”
Francisco Cervelli drove in five runs with three hits for the Pirates. His 11th home run of the season and fourth career grand slam, off reliever Pierce Johnson, closed Pittsburgh within 11-7 in the seventh inning.
Adeiny Hechavarria, playing his second game since being traded from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh, went 2 for 2 with a home run.
Giants starter Derek Holland (6-8) gave up five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
A big night from the offense allowed him to be more aggressive.
“It’s huge,” Holland said. “The offense is putting in the work, and I’m little bit upset with myself. They put the runs up, I’ve got to keep the momentum on our side.”
Clay Holmes (1-2) was tagged for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in his third career start.
“Our command was pretty inconsistent throughout the evening,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Clayton was so good the last time out. His fastball command was off and that complicates things.”
HIGH HEAT
Giants third baseman Evan Longoria was hit in the back by a 97 mph fastball by Pirates reliever Kyle Crick in the bottom of the seventh. Longoria initially stayed in the game but was pulled in the top of the eighth. Longoria said he felt fine after the game, but wasn’t certain about his playing status for Saturday’s game.
“I don’t think he had intent,” Longoria said. “He threw a couple more to the backstop and almost hit (Joe Panik), he just obviously didn’t have a very good feel for where the ball was going tonight.”
OFF DAYS
Pirates OF Gregory Polanco struck out as a pinch-hitter. Manager Clint Hurdle said Polanco will get another rest day in Sunday’s series finale.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt (hyperextended right knee) will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy said. If all goes well, Belt could join the team for next week’s series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, which starts Monday. … RHP Johnny Cueto, who underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month, was moved to the 60-day DL. RHP Casey Kelly was selected to the Giants’ Major League roster in a corresponding move before Friday’s game. … RHP Derek Law was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
UP NEXT
RHP Trevor Williams (9-8, 3.88 ERA) will pitch Saturday for the Pirates. He has a 2.25 ERA without a decision in two career starts against the Giants. LHP Ty Blach (6-6, 4.28) will pitch for the Giants.
___
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports