Pirates can't sweep Giants on west coast, lose 7-5

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pirates failed to sweep the San Francisco Giants, losing, 7-5, Wednesday in a sloppy game at AT&T Park to close out the series.

The Pirates trailed early but rallied back with two home runs off Tim Lincecum in the third and fourth innings to grab a 5-4 lead.

The brief comeback was the bright spot, as two major baserunning gaffes, a passed ball that gave up the winning run, and a tough day on the mound sealed a loss that gave the Pirates a 2-1 record in the series and a 57-50 mark overall.

“We win as a team and lose as a team. Today, we lost as a team,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We didn’t do enough things well late once we fought and got the lead back to close it out.”

Homers from Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer in the third and fourth gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Charlie Morton labored through five innings, but left the game with the Pirates leading, 5-4. He gave up nine hits, four earned runs, walked three and struck out two.

But then, the Pirates blew a shot to expand their lead in the sixth.

Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez were in scoring position when Chris Stewart drew a walk.

Snider, apparently thought the bases were loaded, and headed for third only to get caught in a rundown. Instead of sprinting home or staying on third, Sanchez also got caught in a rundown. The result: a walk to load the bases turned into an inning-ending double play.

“Unfortunately, that’s the first time I’ve seen us walk — a game I’ve watched — where you walk into a double play,” Hurdle said. “Snider thought there was a runner on first for some reason and was walking moving up to third. Gaby tried to, I guess, help him out, and we ended up just hamstringing the whole inning, which wiped out the whole inning”

Snider admitted he thought there was a runner on first.

“Absolutely. That was a 100 percent mental error,” Snider said. “Unfortunately at an opportune time for us offensively to make something happen. Guys on second and third and first base, one out. That’s one I got to take and wear that.”

Sanchez said that, in retrospect, he should have stayed on the bag.

“Of course, I should have just stayed there and let whatever happened happen,” Sanchez said. “But, for me, I was trying to do whatever we can to keep the second and third, so I thought about, you know, let me just take off here and let them go after me and I get in the rundown. Snider will get to third and [Stewart] will be able to get to second and we stay at second and third instead of being first and third. I just took off a little bit too late.”

The Giants regained the lead in the seventh.

Reliever Justin Wilson gave up a one-out walk and single before allowing an RBI single by Gregor Blanco that tied the score at 5-5 and put runners on the corners. With Andrew Susac at the plate, Stewart was charged with a passed ball — a cutter in the dirt — that allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The Giants finished with 12 hits and five walks.

“They found a lot of outfield grass when you least wanted it,” Hurdle said. “The go-ahead run then to score on a passed ball. Just some things happen that don’t normally happen to us. We’ve just got to kick it to the curb.”

San Francisco put the game away in the eighth, when Pablo Sandoval scored Brandon Crawford with an RBI single off reliever Jeanmar Gomez to make it 7-5 Crawford had walked and was safe at second when Buster Posey reached on an error by second baseman Neil Walker.

The Pirates scored first-inning runs Monday and Tuesday, but did not have that success Wednesday.

Morton loaded the bases in the first with two singles and a walk before Michael Morse hit a dribbler down the third-base line to score a run. Harrison, playing at double-play depth, could not get a throw off in time.

Morton’s bases-loaded walk to Joe Panik gave the Giants a second run and Blanco dropped a single to shallow left just out of reach of a jumping Mercer to make it 3-0.

“Just was a grind,” said Morton.

“Very frustrating. The first inning, that was [frustrating]. And two walks on top of that.”

Walker doubled to open the second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout. Morton put the Giants down in order in the second, then drew a walk to open the Pirates third.

It paid off as Harrison hit his fourth home run in as many games to tie the score at 3-3.

Susac’s first major league hit — a bases-loaded single in the third — put the Giants back on top, 4-3.

Mercer homered with Snider on as the Pirates pulled ahead, 5-4, in the fourth.

Jenn Menendez jmenendez@post-gazette.com and Twitter @JennMenendez First Published July 30, 2014 12:00 AM

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