The Pittsburgh Pirates sailed along on the right arm of Vince Worley for nine innings on Monday night and shut out the Giants 5-0 in San Francisco.
The 26-year old righthander scattered four hits, walked one, and struck out three as he went the distance for just his second career complete game, and claimed his first career shutout. Just 29 of the Sacramento native’s 100 pitches were out of the strike zone as Worley took a no-hitter into the fifth. He improved his record to 4-1.
Pittsburgh at 56-49 is two games back of the National League Central leader, the Milwaukee Brewers (59-48) who lost to Tampa Bay on Monday. Clint Hurdle’s squad has won six of eight on the West Coast this season, and 15 of their last 20 when in view of the Pacific Ocean.
The Jolly Roger crew brought all cannons to bear in the first at AT&T Park when they put up four runs on the scoreboard against Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner.
The first three batters to face the 6-foot-5 lefthander were Josh Harrison, who walked to lead the game off while Jordy Mercer singled to left and Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases. Gaby Sanchez sent a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Mercer.
Neil Walker’s single to center brought Mercer across the plate and sent McCutchen to second base. Bumgarner did not help his cause when he one-hopped his pickoff attempt, and caromed the ball off McCutchen into short right field, allowing Cutch to reach third.
Russell Martin singled on a ground ball to center field that scored McCutchen and moved Neil Walker over to third. Russell Martin has collected 10 RBI in his last 12 games.
The scoring barrage came to an end on Gregory Polanco’s sacrifice fly to right field that pushed Walker across the plate for the fourth run of the opening frame.
Bumgarner needed 42 pitches to get out of the first inning. Over his four innings of work, the Hickory, NC native gave up five earned runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two on a total of 90 pitches. His record moved to 12-8.
Josh Harrison added to the score sheet in the top of the second when he sent a fly ball over the left field wall for his seventh home run of the season.
The Pirates also let their gloves do the talking during the contest with two double plays. In the fourth, Walker barehanded Mercer’s glove scoop while falling, turned and relayed the ball to first to double up Michael Morse.
The Bucs move to the middle game of their three-game set with San Francisco on Tuesday. The first pitch is scheduled at 10:15 p.m. ET. The Giants will send righthander Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65 ERA) to the mound while Pittsburgh will counter with Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18 ERA).
The 30-year-old lefthander will be making his 18th start on Tuesday evening. He has made three starts since coming off the disabled list on July 13th, and has gone 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in that trio of starts. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: When leading after eight innings, the Bucs are 46-4 this season…In claiming his 300th win in a Pittsburgh uniform on Sunday afternoon, Clint Hurdle is now the 11th manager to do so in 128 years of play in the National League for the club…While the Shark Tank was not needed in Monday’s win over San Fran, the Pittsburgh bullpen leads the Majors with 25 wins this season.