Derek Holland

Giants lose on Cole Tucker's first career homer, PNC Park lightning policy

Giants lose on Cole Tucker's first career homer, PNC Park lightning policy

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants have found all sorts of different ways to lose games over the past two-plus years, especially on the road. But this was a new one. 

Derek Holland gave up a two-run shot moments before the tarps came out for good. It didn't seriously rain for about 25 more minutes, but PNC Park has a rule that the tarps come out if lightning strikes within four miles of the field. 

The Giants didn't immediately get a chance to counter at the plate, and when the rain started pouring, they could do nothing but wait before the game was called after three hours and eight minutes. They lost 3-1 in five innings

"If it wasn't for bad luck right now," manager Bruce Bochy said, "We wouldn't have any. That's how things are going."

Holland had thrown well early and was in his last inning, with the game tied at one. With a runner on and two outs, rookie Cole Tucker got a fastball that wasn't as far in as Holland wanted and blasted it into the shrubbery in center field. The homer was the first hit of Tucker's career and came in his first start. As Tucker took a dramatic curtain call, Holland struck out the next batter. He thought the game would continue, but the Giants never got another crack at Jameson Taillon. 

"That sucked," Holland said of the final sequence. "It's very upsetting. I felt like I pitched a pretty good game (and) that's the way it's going to finish.

The Giants lost for the fourth time in five games on this trip, dropping six games under .500. It's not like they should have been overmatched, either. The Pirates called up two rookies after a collision in the outfield Friday night and started both former Giants prospect Bryan Reynolds and Tucker, a shortstop who certainly enjoyed his debut.

Holland didn't take exception to that, saying he was focused on getting the final out of the fifth. 

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"I don't have anything against the curtain call," he said. "The kid hit a homer in his first game, so congrats. The kid is living in the moment. It's his Major League debut and he hit a homer."

Giants vs. Pirates lineups: Derek Holland takes hill against NL's top team


Giants vs. Pirates lineups: Derek Holland takes hill against NL's top team

A road trip that started with such promise has quickly gone downhill for the Giants. 

After starting their road trip with a win over the Washington Nationals, Bruce Bochy's club now has lost three straight heading into Saturday's game against the National League's best team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Giants opened the series against the Pirates in disappointing fashion, as Madison Bumgarner gave up four runs in six innings in the Pirates' 4-1 win Friday night. 

Despite the skid, Bochy's lineup for Saturday will look quite similar to the one in the series opener, with Buster Posey hitting third and Brandon Belt hitting cleanup.

Derek Holland will get the start for the Giants. The left-hander is coming off a loss to the Colorado Rockies when he allowed four runs in six innings. Prior to the loss to the Rockies, Holland had not allowed more than three earned runs in a start this season.

The Pirates will counter with right-hander Jameson Taillon, who recorded a win over the Nationals in his last start, allowing three runs in seven innings.

Here are the full lineups for Saturday's Giants vs. Pirates game:

San Francisco Giants (8-13)
1. Steven Duggar (L) RF
2. Gerardo Parra (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
8. Joe Panik (L) 2B
9. Derek Holland (S) LHP (1-2, 4.09 ERA)

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Pittsburgh Pirates (11-6)
1. Cole Tucker (S) SS
2. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
3. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
4. Josh Bell (S) 1B
5. Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
6. JB Shuck (L) RF
7. Pablo Reyes (R) 2B
8. Jason Martin (L) LF
9. Jameson Taillon (R) RHP (0-2, 3.43 ERA)

Kevin Pillar joins Barry Bonds in Giants record book seven games into tenure

Kevin Pillar joins Barry Bonds in Giants record book seven games into tenure

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds was at Oracle Park on Tuesday night, and he got to see something that hasn't been done by a Giant since the Bonds Era. 

Kevin Pillar drove in four runs in the Giants' 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres, a night after hitting a grand slam. He became the first Giant with at least four RBI in back-to-back games since Bonds drove in nine runs over two games in April 2002. The Giants didn't acquire Pillar until before the sixth game of the season, but he already is tied with Brandon Belt for the team lead with eight RBI. 

"He's got some pop," manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday night. "And he's really coming through in the clutch here, too. He's a professional hitter. He's a great addition to the club."

This was the most complete game of the season for the Giants. Here's what else went right:

--- Derek Holland spent all of last season chasing a seven-inning start, and he talked about it often. He came one out short on June 26, but never quite got there the rest of the way. 

Holland did it Tuesday in his third start of 2019, striking out nine over seven strong innings. He allowed just one run, a solo shot from Hunter Renfroe. 

"I joked around with Bum and said I made it past five innings and also didn't throw 100 pitches in five innings, so that was good," Holland said. "That's a tough lineup, though. You can't ever take anything away from them. The home run at the end -- you've still got to make pitches, it shows."

--- Around these parts, it is often noted that the Giants have become a terrible bunting team. So, it must be noted that Holland got a sacrifice down in the fifth with a runner on second, allowing Pillar's fly to left to bring another run in. That's the kind of stuff this team needs to do.

--- Holland didn't go with a goofy t-shirt after picking up his first win of the year. He's a Dallas resident and huge Mavericks fan, so ... 

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--- Belt wasn't worried about moving over to left, jokingly pointing out that he recorded an outfield assist last season. It only took Belt two games out there to get on the board again. He cleanly fielded a liner off the wall and got it in to Brandon Crawford, who threw Franmil Reyes out at second. 

"He's already bragging in there that he's the best at the ball coming off the wall," Bochy said.