Giants

Behind Derek Holland and two home runs, Giants snap six-game losing streak

Behind Derek Holland and two home runs, Giants snap six-game losing streak

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PITTSBURGH — It wasn’t a surprise that a former Pirates outfielder came up big in his return to PNC Park. It was kind of a surprise that it wasn’t Andrew McCutchen, though. 

Gorkys Hernandez smoked a leadoff shot in the sixth to break a scoreless tie and the Giants poured it on from there, scoring five runs in the inning and winning 5-0. Derek Holland made sure the lineup had plenty of time to get into gear, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings and getting his second win in orange and black. 

The win snapped a six-game losing streak and gave the Giants a 4-6 road trip. It wasn't what they envisioned, but given how poorly they played for the last week, they'll probably take it. Here's what else you need to know ... 

— Holland had his best day as a Giant. He became the first starter since last Saturday to pitch at least six innings, and despite the fact that he was at 99 pitches, he came back out for the seventh. After getting the first out, he was replaced by Reyes Moronta. Holland gave up four hits and walked five, but did an excellent job of pitching through traffic. He struck out seven. 

— Through four innings, the Giants had hit six balls at least 100 mph. None of those balls resulted in base hits. Hernandez found a better way, driving one into the first row of seats in left while leading off the sixth. He now has more homers against the Pirates than he did in 33 games for them. 

— With two on and two outs in the sixth, the Pirates called on Richard Rodriguez. He threw Nick Hundley a first-pitch curveball and it was skied right down the left field line for a game-breaking three-run shot. The homer was Hundley’s fourth of the season. That’s twice as many as the team’s starting catcher has. 

— Adam Frazier of the Pirates uses “Pony” as his walk-up song. Feels like that should be acknowledged far and wide, so here it is. 

Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album

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USATSI

Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Flannery has released 14 albums, pulling inspiration from all kinds of sources. Sometimes he would write about the music scene in a certain city, or a character he met during his decades on the road playing and coaching baseball.

But the album Flannery will release Saturday has special meaning. Flannery wrote it after dealing with two different kinds of emotions. 

“This album really started probably out of tragedy,” he said this week.

Last January, Rob Picciolo, a longtime big league coach, and Kevin Towers, the former general manager of the Padres, passed away in the span of a few weeks. Flannery, the former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst, found himself attending the funeral of a close friend on back-to-back weekends. He wrote a song about it called “The Light.”

Later in the year, Flannery’s son, Danny, called him and told him he would be going to rehab in Oregon. That experience was turned into “Ghost Town,” the second track on the album, also called “The Light.”

“That whole episode of dealing with it and even when he got out, some of the things he was thinking and saying about not wanting to go back to his ghost town again, that’s easy for me to relate to,” Flannery said. “I’m sure everybody has their ghost town. The next thing I know I’m writing another song out of it, and something else and something else, and a year and a half later, you’re playing these songs at shows.”

Flannery said he didn’t expect to make another album after his previous one, but he never stops playing, and he found new stories to tell. He said his son was happy that the story was being told through music. 

“He said, ‘I think we can help other people deal with things.’ He’s all-in,” Flannery said. “He’s a changed man and asked me to tell the story.”

Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe will debut the album on Saturday at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. All proceeds will go to the non-profit Love Harder Project for anti-bullying and anti-violence programs across the country.

“This record is for me like a burning light in a world that has gone dark at times,” Flannery said. “It’s gone dark for different people, for different reasons, but this record is a record of hope, a record of love and light.”

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will face two Yankees lefties this weekend at Oracle Park, and for most of this spring, their plan would have called for Cameron Maybin to start those games. If Maybin is in the lineup this weekend, it'll be for the visitors. 

Maybin, a non-roster invitee in Giants camp this spring, was traded to the desperate Yankees on Thursday morning and added to their big league roster. The Yankees sent cash considerations to the Indians, who stashed Maybin at Triple-A after he was let go by the Giants. 

The Yankees turned to Maybin because of unbelievable injury issues in their outfield. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are on the DL, and Clint Frazier -- who hit six homers in fill-in duty -- joined them after spraining his left ankle earlier this season. Frazier became the 15th Yankee to hit the injured list (by comparison, the Giants have just one, the rehabbing Johnny Cueto).

The Giants at one point thought Maybin could form a platoon with Steven Duggar or provide depth in their corner outfield spots. But he had a poor spring on and off the field, and ultimately the front office started the year by taking a look at Michael Reed in that spot. It is now Kevin Pillar who provides the right-handed balance and plays center field.

[RELATED: What we learned from Giants' 4-4 road trip]

The Giants, it's fair to say, are happy with how this all turned out. 

Maybin played 14 games in Triple-A for the Indians, hitting .216 with three doubles and 13 walks.