Tuesday night brought an unorthodox start from A.J. Burnett. Burnett gave up four earned runs in just five innings of work. He did manage to get the win because the Pirates offense backed him on an off night. Looking at the total body of work, however, Burnett still kept the Pirates in the game and gave them a chance before exiting. He also still earned the win.
Buster Posey started the scoring in the first inning by doubling in Joe Panik and Hunter Pence with the bases loaded. The Giants were up 2-0 at this point.
The Pirates got on the board in a big way in the third inning. The Pirates put up four runs in the third, including a go-ahead, bases loaded double from Pedro Alvarez to obtain a 4-2 lead. However, the Giants would have a response.
Brandon Crawford had the response necessary to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning. Crawford hit a home run to left center field with Brandon Belt on first base. The play was reviewed because of some potential fan interference. The home run was upheld after review.
The Pirates had a rebuttal to Crawford's home run as Neil Walker singled in Andrew McCutchen to give the Pirates a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning. It stayed that way until the fifth inning when Jordy Mercer provided the Pirates with an insurance run, hitting his first homer of the season. The Pirates were up 6-4 headed to the sixth.
McCutchen provided yet another hit on what was a great night by him, this one coming in the sixth. He doubled in Gregory Polanco to give the Pirates a 7-4 lead.
The game ended with that score, as the Giants did not score after the third inning against Burnett. Arquimedes Caminero worked two innings of scoreless ball and only allowed a walk in that time. Tony Watson, though he had to pitch out of a first and third, no out jam, worked a scoreless eighth inning. Mark Melancon allowed a baserunner on a single in the ninth, but he eventually closed the door for his 15th save of the season.
The biggest storyline of the night had to be the offensive production from Andrew McCutchen. This guy was hitting just .175 as of April 28th. After Tuesday night's 4-for-5 performance, he's now hitting .292 on the year.
McCutchen said when he was struggling that once he started he wasn't going to stop. Clearly, he was not lying when he said that. McCutchen's success lately shows how important he is to the Pirates. That has always been the case, but it's showing more and more, especially on Tuesday night. The Pirates are now winners of ten of their last twelve games.
The Pirates look to sweep the Giants as they send Francisco Liriano (2-4, 3.47 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. He will oppose Tim Hudson (3-4, 4.62 ERA).