In a game that was bizarre enough that the Pirates scored 10 runs and lost, it was only fitting that the kill shot came via a sacrifice bunt attempt from an opposing relief pitcher.
The San Francisco Giants scored a run without recording a hit in the 13th inning of their 11-10 victory against the Pirates Monday night at PNC Park.
The game, which took 5 hours, 29 minutes to complete, got out of hand to the point when Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole, both starting pitchers, made pinch-hit appearances. Cole reached on an infield single in the 12th. Both managers used every player on their bench and cycled both catchers into the game, eventually removing one of them and crossing their fingers that the other one stayed healthy.
Jared Hughes walked Hunter Pence in the 13th and hit Juan Perez. Reliever Jean Machi bunted near the third-base line and booked down the line much faster than his listed weight of 255 pounds would indicate he was capable of.
Hughes played with Machi (5-0) in 2009, when Machi was in the Pirates minor league system, and said Machi was the fastest guy in the bullpen. Hughes knew Machi could move. He made a quick throw, but the ball bounced away from Neil Walker, who was covering first. Pence scored to break the tie.
“If I make the throw there, he’s out,” Hughes, (1-1) said. “It’s a different story.”
Mark Melancon let a one-run lead slip away in the ninth. Pence singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Buster Posey’s single.
Jeff Locke, called into spot-start duty, sandwiched four perfect innings with two subpar ones and the Pirates bullpen squandered a lead. The Pirates touched up Giants starter Yusmeiro Petit for eight runs, four apiece in the third and fifth, on nine hits in 41⁄3 innings. Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer, Andrew McCutchen fell a home run shy of the cycle and Josh Harrison, batting leadoff again, went 2 for 3. The Pirates collected 16 hits, and Alvarez and Starling Marte had two apiece.
Angel Pagan, Pence and Posey, the first three hitters in the Giants order, each had three hits. Michael Morse had two doubles and drove in two runs. The Giants went 8 for 18 with runners in scoring position.
The Pirates led, 8-2, after the fifth, but Locke, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson and Tony Watson allowed the Giants to tie the score at 9-9.
“It basically got to our location,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We were up in the zone more than we normally are.”
Locke and Morris allowed five runs between them in the sixth, reducing the Pirates’ lead to 8-7. Wilson started the seventh and allowed a single, threw a wild pitch and walked a batter. Watson came on and allowed an RBI double to Morse, then a run-scoring single to Hector Sanchez.
The Pirates re-took the lead in the seventh when Ike Davis drew a two-out walk. Tony Sanchez singled, prompting Giants manager Bruce Bochy to summon left-hander Jeremy Affeldt to face Travis Snider.
Jose Tabata pinch-hit for Snider and grounded up the middle. Shortstop Brandon Crawford dived for the ball and tried to roll it to second, but couldn’t get it there in time. Hicks threw home, but Davis, who never stopped, slid in safely for the go-ahead run.
Locke finished 51⁄3 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. The runs all scored in the first and sixth innings. Between that, Locke was flawless, retiring 13 batters in a row at one point.
“That was actually the most comfortable that I’ve felt all season,” Locke said.
The game Monday night represented a matchup between replacement starters. Locke was called up earlier Monday to fill a vacancy necessitated by a doubleheader the previous week. Petit took the mound for the Giants in place of Matt Cain, who went on the disabled list after cutting his finger while making a sandwich.
Bill Brink: email@example.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published May 6, 2014 12:45 AM