Rewind: Pirates vs. Giants, Game #1

The Pirates can't buy a win lately. Things seemed to be going well for them in this game as they were leading throughout the game. Pittsburg was holding onto a lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but perhaps in their haste to close out the game, everything unraveled for them in the end.

After winning three games in a row, Matt Cain struggled in this outing. In the first inning, he started giving runs away to the Pittsburg Pirates. Jack Wilson walked with one out and moved over to second on a single by Sean Casey. Cain walked Jason Bays to load the bases, but struck out Jeromy Burnitz for the second out.

However, the next batter, Freddy Sanchez, walked to bring in Wilson as the Pirates' first run. Cain then proceeded to hit Jose Castillo with a pitch to allow another run to score, but Ronny Paulino struck out to end the inning.

The Pirates came back for more right away in the second inning. With two outs, Wilson singled and was knocked in by Casey's double to left field. Bay drew another walk, but Burnitz popped out to end the inning.

The Giants scored their first runs in the fourth against starter Zach Duke. Lance Niekro continues his hot hitting since coming off the DL with a single to lead off the inning, and another hot bat that's been missed on the Giants came up big. Moises Alou smashed his eighth homerun of the season to put the Giants on the board. Ray Durham drew a walk, but Pedro Feliz grounded into a double play and Jason Ellison grounded out to end the inning. The Giants had to settle for just two runs until much later.

After giving up seven hits and three runs in four innings, Cain was pulled from the game and Jeremy Accardo entered. Accardo pitched a scoreless fifth, but got into a little trouble in the sixth. Wilson continued to haunt the Giants with a double to lead off the sixth. Casey singled, and Bay hit a sacrifice fly to bring Wilson in, giving the Pirates a 4-2 advantage.

In the seventh, Jonathan Sanchez replaced Accardo and continued his stellar performance in the big leagues. In one inning, he struck out two and walked one, but didn't allow any runs.

In the bottom half of the seventh, Ellison drew a walk to lead off inning and moved to third on a double by Eliezer Alfonzo. With runners on second and third and no outs, Duke was pulled from the game. Salomon Torres took over the mound for the Pirates and got pinch hitter Mark Sweeney to ground out, but Ellison was able to score on the play. Randy Winn and Omar Vizquel both grounded out to end the inning.

Tim Worrell came into the game in the eighth to try to keep the ballgame close. He allowed a walk to Bay, but that didn't do any damage as he got out of the inning with a strikeout to Burnitz.

The Giants kept nibbling at the Pirates' lead as Niekro had another hit, this time a double to left to lead off things for the Giants in the eighth. With Durham at the plate, new pitcher Roberto Hernandez had a wild pitch to allow Niekro to advance to third. Two pitches later, Durham singled to left field and Niekro scored the tying run.

Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for the Giants, and as usual, didn't let things go in a smooth fashion. Benitez walked Paulino with two outs, and pinch hitter Craig Wilson doubled to follow. With runners on second and third in a tie game, Benitez got Jose Bautista to fly out to end the inning.

The Giants made short work of new pitcher Damaso Marte in the bottom of the ninth. Alfonzo continued an impressive MLB stint by leading off with a single that dropped between Wilson and Sanchez. Steve Finley advanced Alfonzo on a sacrifice bunt, and Winn reached base on a fielding error by Castillo. With runners on first and third, Marte intentionally walked Vizquel to set up the double play.

With Niekro coming up, Matt Capps replaced Marte on the mound. Capps got Niekro to fly out to shallow right field, a ball that was not deep enough for Alfonzo to score. However, the Pirates assisted the Giants again. The bases were loaded for slugger Alou, but even Alou's bat was not needed as Capp sent a wild pitch through catcher Paulino that allowed Alfonzo to score the winning run.

Game Notes: Jonathan Sanchez still has not allowed a run in the majors since he made his debut... Barry Bonds was sidelined again for having discomfort in his side.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Moises Alou had the big bat in this game with a two-run shot to give the Giants some runs, but more importantly, his presence at the plate was distracting Matt Capps on the mound, which more or less caused him to throw a wild pitch that ended the game. The Giants' bullpen also deserves an honorable mention because they limited the Pirates to just one run for five innings.

Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: .

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