The Pirates pulled off a buzzer-beater Wednesday, winning their first series in May on the last day of the month as they defeated the San Francisco Giants 8-4.
Staff ace Mitch Keller labored through six innings, giving up ten hits and four earned runs while striking out eight batters. After several weeks of standing on his head for the offense, though, it came time for the Pirates’ bats to step up for him.
Keller is the first pitcher in Pirates’ history to have 90 strikeouts before June 1. A.J. Burnett had 89 in 2013.
Keller also became the Pirates pitcher with seven wins by the end of May since Gerrit Cole also had seven in 2015.
Second baseman Rodolfo Castro began the second with a double, moving to third on a groundout. Shortstop Chris Owings bunted a ball into the glove of Giants’ pitcher Alex Wood, who whipped a throw to third to double Castro off and end the inning unscathed.
Former Pirates’ minor leaguer Blake Sabol singled in the bottom of the frame, coming around to score on another single that made it 1-0.
The Pirates wasted no time responding, claiming a 4-1 lead in the top of the third. Center fielder Ji-Hwan Bae walked and designated hitter Andrew McCutchen doubled him home. Castro singled to score McCutchen, and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes laced a slow-roller down the left field line for a two-run triple.
A double and an infield single put runners at the corners for the Giants in the home half of the inning. Designated hitter Wilmer Flores made it 4-2 with another single.
Pirates’ left fielder Bryan Reynolds (himself a former Giants’ draft pick) did Flores one better in the top of the fourth with a two-run single that pushed the lead to 6-2.
Giants’ center fielder Mike Yastrzemski pulled a triple to right in the fifth, coming home on a wild pitch from Keller.
Bae and McCutchen singled in the sixth. Reynolds hit into a fielder’s choice, but Giants’ second baseman Brett Wisely sailed his throw as he tried to turn two, allowing Bae to score and keeping the inning alive.
First baseman Connor Joe doubled on the next pitch to make it 8-3.
Sabol singled in the bottom of the inning, moving to third on another single before scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Right fielder Jack Suwinski added an RBI single in the ninth to give the Pirates some insurance, stretching the score to 9-4.
The Pirates move to 28-27 on the season. They return home to face the St. Louis Cardinals at 7:05pm Friday.