The Pittsburgh Pirates did not get a hit with a runner in scoring position and their starting pitcher issued five walks.
Yet the Pirates were somehow able to slip past the Giants 2-1 on Tuesday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The win was just the seventh in the last 26 games for the Pirates following their 20-8 start to the season and got them back to .500 at 27-27.
The Pirates were 0 for 5 with runners on second or third. Johan Oviedo’s five walks contributed to him needing 92 pitches to get through 4.1 innings despite allowing only one run.
The Pirates scored the tiebreaking run in the fifth inning when Rodolfo Castro came home on Sean Manaea’s wild pitch. Castro also had two of the Pirates’ six hits.
Connor Joe put the Pirates ahead in the first inning with a solo home run off opener John Brebbia. The Giants answered with a run in the bottom half as Michael Conforto hit an RBI single.
The Pirates had a chance to add on runs in fifth after Castro made it 2-1. However, Jason Delay was thrown out at home while trying to score on a grounder and Josh Palacios was picked off first base to end the inning.
Oviedo allowed three runs and struck out five in the no-decision.
Dauri Moreta, Jose Hernandez, Colin Holderman and David Bednar combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. Moreta (2-1) pitched one inning and got credit for the win and has not allowed an earned run in his last 12 games and 15.1 innings.
Bednar worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities. It was his first save chance since April 29.
Holderman got four outs in his ninth consecutive scoreless appearance. He has retired the last 18 right-handed batters he has faced.
Joe’s homer, his sixth of the season, accounted for the Pirates’ lone extra-base hit.
Brebbia was pulled after Joe’s homer and Manaea followed by working four innings as the bulk pitcher. Manaea (2-3) gave up only one run but was the hard-luck loser.
Conforto and Blake Sabol each had two hits for the Giants. The Pirates lost Sabol in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in December.
The Giants lost for just the fourth time in their last 15 games.
Mitch Keller (6-1, 3.01) will start for the Pirates at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series against left-hander Alex Wood (1-0, 3.51).