Following a script that got old weeks ago, the San Francisco Giants remained anemic at the plate, and were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1, Tuesday night at AT&T Park, as Francisco Liriano threw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits, with one walk and eleven strikeouts. Josh Harrison led off the game with a solo home run and Travis Snider hit a two-run shot in the second to account for the Pirates’ runs.
The Pirates won for the sixteenth consecutive time after they have scored the first run. Since they scored the first run on a lead-off home run, that’s an early point in the game to get a psychological edge on the Giants.
Liriano was dominant for seven innings, before turning the ball over to Tony Watson, who dispatched the Giants in the eighth after Joaquin Arias led off the inning with a single to center field. Mark Melancon closed it out for the Pirates.
Though Tim Hudson leads the league in inducing ground balls, it was the long ball that hurt him Tuesday night, as he started for the Giants and gave up the two big flies early, before settling down and pitching superbly from the third through the seventh innings, during which time he faced two over the minimum. He ended up surrendering six hits, while walking one and striking out two.
When Gregor Blanco hit a first-inning double, it was only the second extra-base hit in the current losing streak, with Michael Morse’s solo shot, leading off the second, making three. In this current six-game losing streak, the Giants have scored one run or fewer in five of the six contests. Whatever else is happening with the addition or subtraction of personnel, the Giants have got to get a fix on their hitting.
San Francisco finishes the home stand today, with Tim Lincecum trying to salvage the finale.