SAN FRANCISCO — Andrew McCutchen has spent chunks of this series wearing a look of disbelief thanks to a park that has robbed him of two homers and Giants outfielders who have twice kept him from extra-base hits.
Even so, McCutchen has piled up big numbers while helping the Pirates take the first two games from the Giants. The former MVP had four hits, drove in two runs and scored two more as the Pirates beat the Giants 7-4. The loss was the fourth straight for the Giants.
They took an early 2-0 lead when Buster Posey — who worked on going the opposite way during an early BP session — smoked a two-run double to right. That lead quickly disappeared two innings later. The Pirates hit around in the third, scoring four runs on three walks, two singles and a double. The big blow was Pedro Alvarez’s two-run double on a hanging curveball from Chris Heston.
The Giants tied it up in the bottom of the inning when Brandon Belt singled and Brandon Crawford drove a homer to left-center, but the Pirates bounced right back with a run in the fourth when McCutchen tripled and got another in the fifth on Jordy Mercer’s homer.
McCutchen picked up his fourth hit in the sixth inning, and the double down the right-field line brought Gregory Polanco streaking home and gave the Pirates a three-run cushion.
Starting pitching report: Heston had been great at home, in part because he has been able to keep the ball down here. That wasn’t the case Tuesday as the rookie was charged with five runs and got pulled when McCutchen tripled with two outs in the fourth. This was just the second time all year Heston allowed more than two runs in a home start. His ERA jumped all the way up to 4.29.
Bullpen report: Jeremy Affeldt has pitched better of late after a rough patch. The lefty threw two scoreless innings and hasn’t allowed a run over his last four appearances. He gave up seven runs in his previous six appearances.
At the plate: Crawford’s eighth homer tied him with Johnny Peralta and Wilmer Flores for the National League lead among shortstops and gave him 36 RBI, the most of any MLB shortstop. According to FanGraphs, it was just his third opposite-field homer since the start of the 2012 season. A fan reached over the wall to pull it the last few inches but a long review did not overturn the original call.
In the field: Nothing great. Nothing awful.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,913 human beings. For the fourth straight night, Steph Curry did not attend.
Up next: The final game of the homestand is a matchup between Tim Hudson (3-4, 4.62) and Francisco Liriano (2-4, 3.47). After that, it’s a trip to the White House. Check this very same website before the White House visit for my story on the Giants who are going for the first time. And you can follow along on Twitter (@AlexPavlovic) for blurry Vines.