Led by Belt's bat, Giants complete second straight sweep

Led by Belt's bat, Giants complete second straight sweep


PITTSBURGH -- The San Francisco Giants' recent run of success hasn't surprised Brandon Belt.

Belt also wasn't surprised when he helped continue that success Sunday.

Trailing 2-0, Belt started San Francisco's comeback with an RBI single in a three-run seventh inning, then added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Sunday at PNC Park for their season-high sixth straight win.

"I think there's a confidence and expectation to win now," Belt said. "Whereas before, I don't think we had that. It actually might have been the opposite. Not sure what triggered it, but this is the way we feel we should've been playing the whole time. This is how our team should be playing."

Jordy Mercer's two-run homer in the third off Jeff Samardzija (4-9) put the Pirates ahead.

Trevor Williams took a two-hit shutout into the seventh, when Hunter Pence walked leading off and Buster Posey doubled. Belt and Brandon Crawford hit consecutive run-scoring singles off left-hander Tony Watson (4-2), and Kelby Tomlinson's sacrifice fly gave San Francisco a 3-2 lead.

Belt homered in the eighth off Edgar Santana, his 16th this season.

Pittsburgh lost second consecutive game while leading after five innings.

"It's all about playing a complete game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We weren't able to finish the last two games. We were in position to win them."

Samardzija won his second straight start, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings. John Jaso homered against Steven Okert in the eighth, and Sam Dyson pitched a perfect ninth for his second save this season.

"We're going out there and I don't think we're looking it as a whole right now," Samardzija said. "I think we're looking at it as a game-by-game moving forward. I just think we need to go out every day and set a tone with the way we start."

The pitching as a whole impressed Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

"What a great job they did this series," Bochy said. "Starters. Bullpen. Samardzija was really good. One mistake, a slider on the inside part of the plate there. He threw the ball well. He threw another great game. We deserved win for him."

On their longest winning streak since taking eight in a row from June 11-19 last year, the Giants have swept three-game series from Colorado and Pittsburgh after failing to sweep any series this season before that. San Francisco has won six straight at Pittsburgh for the first time since 1953.

Williams gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. He has five straight no decisions with four coming off of quality starts.

"The numbers, it is what is," Williams said. "At the end of the year they'll be where they're at. I feel like I've given the bullpen bad situations."


Pence made a diving, tumbling backhand catch in right-center to rob John Jaso of an extra-base hit with two outs in the third. That stranded Jose Osuna, who had tripled off the right-field wall.

"What was impressive about Pence's catch was I think he was a little upset on the first ball he didn't catch there, the (Osuna) hit," Bochy said. "Then makes that diving catch there and saves us. We were determined to make the next play."


Pittsburgh did not start CF Andrew McCutchen, 2B Josh Harrison and 3B David Freese. Freese pinch hit in the seventh inning and Harrison in the ninth.


Pirates: OF Starling Marte went 0 for 3 and reached on a throwing error Sunday in a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton. Serving an 80-game drug suspension, Marte is eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18, barring postponements. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said Marte will play left field when he returns.


Giants: RHP Matt Cain (3-7, 5.46) seeks his first win first win since May 15 when San Francisco starts a series at Detroit on Tuesday.

Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (8-5, 3.08) starts a series opener at Philadelphia on Monday. He has won three of his last four starts.

Giants swept away by Cardinals, drop fourth consecutive game

Giants swept away by Cardinals, drop fourth consecutive game


The Giants wore goofy sweaters on their flight to San Diego last Sunday, and their rookies were given Fortnite outfits as they left Petco Park on Wednesday.

The flight home this Sunday will take on an entirely different tone. 

The Giants lost 9-2 to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium and suffered their first sweep in St. Louis since 1995.

The NL Central was one house of horrors after the next this season. The Giants also were swept in Cincinnati and Milwaukee. They lost two of three in Chicago and Pittsburgh. 

Here's what you need to know from the final game of that 2-13 road stretch ... 

--- Andrew Suarez was pulled after just 77 pitches, as the Giants likely are trying to limit his innings this late in the year. He gave up two earned runs in five innings, and if this is it for his rookie year, he currently stands at a 4.22 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He's been a bright spot and certainly gives this team a nice rotation piece. 

--- This one turned into a boat race in the sixth. Ray Black was charged with four of the five runs allowed in the inning, which raised his ERA to 6.45. 

--- The lineup had just one hit off Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas through six innings. Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer in the seventh. 

--- The Giants have lost 50 road games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1984 and 1985. They went 26-55 away from home last season. Not surprisingly, the issue has been the offense. They've scored 25 fewer runs on the road despite playing six more games.

Giants blow 4-2 lead, fall to Cardinals on Tyler O'Neill's walk-off


Giants blow 4-2 lead, fall to Cardinals on Tyler O'Neill's walk-off


SAN FRANCISCO — The Cardinals made four errors Saturday and had trouble with several other balls. The Giants couldn’t take advantage.

Cardinals right fielder Tyler O’Neill hit a walk-off homer off reliever Mark Melancon in the bottom of the 10th at Busch Stadium, handing the Giants a 5-4 loss. They’ve lost three straight after a good start to their final trip. 

The Giants had runners on the corners and one out in the top of the 10th, but second baseman Alen Hanson struck out. After an intentional walk of catcher Nick Hundley, Right fielder Austin Slater struck out to end the threat. 

—- The Cardinals butchered a couple of bloops in the seventh and the Giants took full advantage. With a runner on first, Hanson and starting catcher Aramís Garcia hit bloops that Cardinals outfielders didn’t handle cleanly. Starter Dereck Rodriguez followed with a single and outfielder Gregor Blanco made it 4-2 when he beat out a double-play ball. 

—- Rodriguez was cruising but he walked the lead off batter in the bottom of the seventh and then gave up a two-run shot to catcher Yadier Molina. It was the first non-solo homer allowed by Rodriguez this season. The rookie was charged with four runs in what could have been the final start of his season. 

—- Joe Panik isn’t a thumper, but his first career start at first base had plenty of positives. Panik  had three hits and looked fine defensively. 

—- Garcia bounced back nicely from a four-strikeout night. He had four hits, including a big one in the seventh inning rally.