Estrada walk-off caps wild back-and-forth contest for SF Giants

Thairo Estrada
Thairo Estrada / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

On June 19 the SF Giants lost their series finale at the Pittsburgh Pirates on a walk-off home run. That loss was the start of a stretch of poor play that has seen the Giants lose nearly 20 games in the National League West standings.

Sunday, the Orange and Black finally got their revenge. After a game with wild swings both ways, and trailing by a run entering the bottom of the ninth, San Francisco didn't give up. With a runner on and one out, Thairo Estrada deposited a pitch into the left-field bleachers for a walk-off win, 8-7, to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Pirates after close wins both Friday and Saturday.

Evan Longoria led off the ninth for the Giants and singled to left field. Mike Yastrzemski hit a tailor-made double play ball to second, but Pittsburgh's second baseman threw a backhand one-hopper to the bag. The force out was completed at second base but Yastrzemski reached first without a throw, bringing up Estrada:

For the first half of the game the Giants were coming up clutch and built a solid lead. Despite Alex Wood getting into trouble in the first (two on, no outs) and second (allowed bases loaded after retiring first two batters), it was scoreless heading to the home half of the second inning. That's when Brandon Crawford drew a one-out walk and scored on a Tommy La Stella double. Joey Bart reached on a tough pop-up that fell inside the right-field line before Lamonte Wade Jr. hit a 1-1 offering over the center field fence for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Joc Pederson was hit by a pitch and Wilmer Flores doubled him home to add to the Giants advantage.

Former SF Giants prospect nearly took over the game

Wood settled down with perfect innings in the third and fourth, but a single and walk brought up Bryan Reynolds, who the Giants drafted in the second round in 2016 and traded before he made the Major Leagues as part of the 2018 package for Andrew McCutchen. Reynolds, whose fly out ended the second with the bases loaded, doubled to left to drive in two. After a flyout advanced him, Reynolds scored on a groundout to make it 5-3.

John Brebbia took over for Wood to start the seventh, but the right-hander had a rough outing in the midst of his solid season so far. A walk and single put two on, and Reynolds came up with a three-run homer to put the visitors in the lead.

In the bottom of the seventh the Giants answered to tie the game, with Crawford hitting a soaring two-out pop-up to shallow center that fell when two fielders collided. Flores scored from third base, knotting the score at 6-6.

The Pirates re-took the lead in the top of the ninth when Longoria overthrew first base on a slow roller with one out and two on, plating Reynolds - though the Giants retired the second runner at the plate on a close play.

The Giants remain home for a four-game series against surging Arizona beginning Monday, with old friend Madison Bumgarner taking the ball in the opener against Alex Cobb.