This was no 22-hit explosion. But it might have been more impressive.
The Giants fell behind by five runs Wednesday night and saw their starter get knocked out after the third inning, but they stormed back for a 7-6 win over the reeling Pirates. The bullpen, relying heavily on young arms, was brilliant, throwing six shutout innings.
John Jaso ambushed Jeff Samardzija’s first pitch, a cutter that Jaso crushed out to deep right-center. Lefties continued to get to Samardzija in the first, with Gregory Polanco lining a single and scoring on Matt Joyce’s two-out single.
Samardzija went to his splitter to keep the top of the order off-balance in the second inning, and it worked when he struck Jaso out on a nasty 86 mph pitch that held up. But the next pitch was a splitter that sat across the heart of the plate, and Polanco demolished it. The three-run shot put the Pirates up 5-1.
Jung Ho Kong opened the third with a solo shot on an 0-2 slider. Samardzija’s day was done after the third, but he wouldn’t take a loss. The Giants kept chipping away until they took the lead.
Brandon Crawford’s single drove in a run in the fourth and Buster Posey and Angel Pagan added on in the fifth. With Francisco Liriano out of the game, the Giants completed the comeback against Jared Hughes. Ramiro Pena’s double got the Giants within one in the sixth and Gregory Polanco dropped Joe Panik’s liner to left, allowing two more runs to score.
Starting pitching report: The three-inning start tied for the shortest of Samardzija’s career. He gave up 10 earned in three innings for the White Sox last year and allowed eight earned in three innings for the Cubs two years ago.
Bullpen report: Pitching at home for the first time, Pittsburgh native Derek Law had two very impressive innings. Law struck out three and stranded two in the fifth.
At the plate: Mac Williamson’s second-inning single had an exit velocity of 115 mph, giving him the two hardest-hit balls by a Giant this season. He lined out at 115 mph against the Dodgers earlier this month. Williamson, who has just 65 big league at-bats, also had the hardest-hit ball by a Giant last season (114).
In the field: The official scorer in Pittsburgh does not believe in errors.
Up next: The final game in Pittsburgh is Albert Suarez (2-1, 3.69) vs. lefty Jonathon Niese (6-4, 4.74).