Giants win fifth straight thanks to wild pitch in extra innings

Giants win fifth straight thanks to wild pitch in extra innings


PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Daniel Hudson was only thinking about Giants star Buster Posey when he uncorked a full-count slider Saturday.

When the ball skipped in the dirt and got away from the catcher, Denard Span was ready to pounce.

Span sprinted home from third on Hudson's wild pitch in the 11th inning to give San Francisco a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

With Span on third and Joe Panik at second, Hudson (1-4) choked a 3-2 breaking pitch to Posey, who is hitting .340 this season.

"If I was going to get beat there, I was going to get beat by the best pitch," Hudson said. "For a right-hander this year, that's my slider. I was just trying to make a quality pitch. If I walk him, I walk him. I just got a little bit too much bite on it and got a bad kick."

Hudson's pitch bounced ahead of the plate, glanced off catcher Elias Diaz and skidded into the dugout, allowing Span to score easily. Though it was Span that scored the run, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was quick to credit the battle of Posey, who fell behind 0-2, for the winning run.

"We've got a pretty good hitter up there, and he had a great at-bat," Bochy said. "Granted, he didn't knock him in, but they're being careful with him, and that helped induce the wild pitch."

Josh Osich (2-1) got the win. Sam Dyson pitched a scoreless 11th for his first save since being acquired from the Texas Rangers in early June.

In the ninth, Giants reliever Hunter Strickland walked the bases loaded but got Diaz to strike out looking. Diaz finished 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and left eight men on base.

Andrew McCutchenDavid Freese and Josh Bell - Pittsburgh's 3-4-5 hitters - combined for eight walks, including three each by Freese and Bell. The Pirates walked 10 times in total but left 15 men on base.

"We put them out there every inning, just about," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "At the end of the day, it's all about scoring runs. We worked to get out there, but we weren't able to get them in today."

Matt Moore worked around six walks and four hits to pitch one-run ball over 5 2/3 innings. The Giants starter escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and left two on in the third. Moore was lifted for reliever George Kontos with the bases loaded in the sixth, and Kontos struck out Josh Harrison to end that threat.

Chad Kuhl went six innings for the Pirates, snapping a streak of 12 consecutive starts of five innings or fewer. Kuhl carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a homer to Austin Slater. Kuhl was replaced for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth after throwing 75 pitches.

Bell's RBI single scored McCutchen in the third inning for the only Pirates run.

The Giants recalled RHP Chris Stratton from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned RHP Dan Slania, who made his major league debut on Friday with one scoreless inning. Stratton pitched in two games with San Francisco earlier this season and had a 5.71 ERA in 12 starts with Sacramento. He's expected to be used in the bullpen.

San Francisco pitching prospect Joan Gregorio was suspended for the remainder of the season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Gregorio, 25, was 4-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 13 starts with Sacramento.

Pirates OF Startling Marte will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton on Sunday. Marte has been serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. He is eligible to be reinstated July 18.

Pirates: McCutchen was cleared to play after fouling a ball off his ankle Friday. ... C Francisco Cervelli (post-concussion symptoms) worked out extensively before the game for the second consecutive day.

Giants: 3B Eduardo Nunez (strained hamstring) went 1 for 3 with a double and a strikeout in his first rehab appearance with Double-A Richmond.

Giants: Jeff Samardzija (3-9, 4.63 ERA) will start in the series finale Sunday. In his career at PNC Park, he's 4-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 12 games.

Pirates: Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.82) has gone seven straight stars without recording a loss, but is just 1-0 in that stretch.

Why Giants' Bruce Bochy had such a hard time DFAing Mac Williamson

Why Giants' Bruce Bochy had such a hard time DFAing Mac Williamson

SAN FRANCISCO -- It wasn't an easy conversation.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy had to break the news to Mac Williamson that the team had designated the outfielder for assignment Saturday. It was the second time the Giants DFA'd Williamson in the past two months.

As many times as the skipper has had these conversations, and as difficult as they must be, this was different.

"You pull for [the players] every day, but not as hard as I have for Mac, especially with him working hard to get this opportunity," Bochy said prior to the Giants' 10-4 loss to the D-backs later in the day.

But the team needed help, and Williamson was struggling at the plate. He had just six hits in 57 plate appearances with one home run and seven RBI. 

"You just get to a point where we just need some help and so it was not an easy one," Bochy added.

Bochy knows Williamson exemplifies being a Giant -- he was drafted by the team and he, by all accounts, is a Giant.

"He's had to deal with things like the concussion, so he'll go through waivers again and he can elect free agency. I don't know what's going to happen, but he's gotta keep pushing," Bochy said. "He'll get another opportunity and hopefully it works out well."

[RELATED: Mike Yastrzemski reacts to Giants call-up]

A mere few weeks ago, Williamson posted an emotional message on Instagram following a stellar outing with the Giants the day after his big league return. It was just one game, as he said, but it was a good one. 

For Williamson, however, that day in Denver could be one of his last positive memories as a Giant. And that will never sit well with his former skipper.

Watch Kevin Pillar make insane catch vs. D-backs in Giants double play

Watch Kevin Pillar make insane catch vs. D-backs in Giants double play


You're not allowed to cheer from the pressbox, but I had my jaw practically on the floor during a crazy Kevin Pillar diving catch from the Giants right fielder.

In the top of the first inning of Saturday's D-backs vs. Giants game, Kevin Cron smacked a line drive to right field. If you watch the play, you were more than likely thinking there was no way Pillar would be able to snag it, but boy was I wrong.

Superman laid out and made the grab. But he wasn't done yet. He threw it in to second baseman Joe Panik who sent it to Brandon Belt for the double play to get Adam Jones out at first.


Future note for any batters facing the Giants -- keep it away from anywhere Pillar might be playing.