PITTSBURGH — Every time these Giants think they’ve filled a hole, they find another reason for concern.
On a day the Giants traded for Marlon Byrd to help with the outfield and determined that Mike Leake would likely return to the rotation this weekend, Jake Peavy had his second straight rough outing. Peavy was a dependable presence once he returned from the DL, but he gave up four in Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Pirates and has been charged with nine earned in his last two starts.
The Pirates pounced on Peavy in the first, getting an early run on Aramis Ramirez’s RBI double. Peavy didn’t have a clean inning in the first four frames and the Pirates scored another run in the third. Peavy put two on with two outs and rookie shortstop Jung Ho Kang smashed a double off the right field wall.
As Peavy labored, Charlie Morton piled up one quick inning after the next. Morton needed just 62 pitches to get through five innings and then struck out two in a swift sixth.
The Pirates doubled their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Neil Walker hit a two-run bomb to right. The Giants loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning but failed to score; Gregor Blanco stung a two-out liner to right but it was right at Gregory Polanco.
Starting pitching report: The line on Peavy: 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 100 pitches. His ERA has jumped from 3.75 to 4.35 over his last two starts.
Bullpen report: Here’s a positive … Yusmeiro Petit looked sharp. Real sharp. Petit struck out four in two scoreless innings, getting four of the top five in the Pirates' order.
At the plate: Brandon Crawford is going to set career-highs in just about everything. He was hit by a pitch for the 10th time, doubling his previous high.
In the field: It’s backwards, but Crawford’s 19 homers should finally get him some Gold Glove consideration. That’s just how it seems to work. Crawford’s glove has always been worthy and he showed off again Thursday, gloving a ball deep up the middle and flicking it back to second for a force out.
Attendance: The Pirates announced a crowd of 36,671 polite human beings who did not boo the Giants for some reason.
Up next: Marlon Byrd’s debut. The newest Giant should be in left field Friday night against lefty Jeff Locke. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants. It’s his first start here since the night he began to take over the world.