Hernandez, Hundley lead Giants to 5-0 win over Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

"Last couple days, they've been a lot better".

The Pittsburgh Pirates extended their winning streak to five games on Saturday, as they beat the visiting San Francisco Giants by a final of 6-5.

Through their 38th game on Friday, the Pirates ranked fourth in the NL with 46 home runs.

"Hitting a guy to get the game-winning run in, that's unacceptable", Watson said.

The man who put baseball back on the map in Pittsburgh stepped to the plate wearing a gray road uniform, but received an ovation only a hometown hero could receive. "After Jackson's bit hit, frustrating for sure". The three-run blast was the fifth hit by the Giants this season after the club hit just seven all of a year ago.

Down 5-4 entering the eighth inning, center fielder Austin Jackson launched an RBI double off the top of the left field wall against former Giant George Kontos to even the score, but Jackson barley missed a home run that would have pushed the club ahead.

"It's starting pitching", manager Bruce Bochy said. "That might have been the difference in the game to be honest".

At the beginning of Jackson's at-bat, Pittsburgh's scoreboard flashed a graphic featuring a spray chart of the center fielder's balls in play this season. "Any pitch, anytime, 92-80, 12 miles per hour, and they were strikes, and the ball was around the zone". "I couldn't get it back in my glove to tag him". "I tried to really forget what happened (against Washington)".

"I'm humbled by it and I appreciate it", McCutchen said.

With Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto on the disabled list, the Giants desperately needed their most experienced active starter, Jeff Samardzija, to reverse an ugly trend plaguing the staff.

Pirates: Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.84 ERA) lasted just two innings in his previous start on Tuesday in Chicago.

Then he left a fastball up in the zone and Francisco Cervelli crushed it.

"If we put the last hitter, Hundley, away", manager Clint Hurdle said, "it's a good (stat) line".

Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who made an emotional return to PNC Park after starring for the Pirates for most of a decade, was 4-for-14 in the series with three doubles, a single and a walk, including 1-for-4 Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

After being swept in a four-game series by the Phillies, the Giants fell under.500 by dropping the series-opener for their fifth consecutive defeat.

Watson (1-2), an All-Star for Pittsburgh during his six-plus seasons with the club, loaded the bases in the eighth, and then gave the Pirates the lead when he hit former teammate Jordy Mercer to force in Josh Bell. The trip has actually been something of a nightmare for the Giants.

Gorkys Hernandez and Nick Hundley hit homers in the outburst. Only five percent of Jackson's contact landed in right field, but his game-tying single proved he has the capability to take the ball the other way. Longoria and Alen Hanson homered in San Francisco's sixth straight loss. Hundley sent reliever Richard Rodriguez's first pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer and a 5-0 lead.

Nova was able to retire Andrew McCutchen three times on fly balls to the outfield.

Crawford almost enjoyed a stunning reprisal of his grand slam that helped the Giants to victory in the 2014 National League Wildcard Game at PNC Park, but his flyball was caught a few feet shy of the wall.

Nova (2-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings and is 0-2 in five starts since beating Miami on April 15. Though Samardzija dealt with a pectoral strain that sidelined him for three weeks to start the year, durability is less of a concern than command at this point in the season. "For them to do what they did today, it's something that's going to be with me from here on out". "Need to be better". The Giants went 1-6 on their tour of Pennsylvania.

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