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Pirates take series in San Fran

Aug 11, 2011 - 4:25 AM San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Matt Diaz finished 2-for-4 with two RBI as Pittsburgh plundered San Francisco, 9-2, in the rubber match of a three- game series.

Ryan Ludwick added three hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer, walked three times and crossed the plate on four occasions for the Pirates, who took two of three in the set to erase the sting of a 10-game losing streak prior their arrival in the Bay Area.

"We'll find out exactly where we are after the Friday night game, but we're going in with some confidence," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle of his club's upcoming three-game series against NL Central-leading Milwaukee. "We were at least able to put a foot down and win a series on the road."

Jeff Karstens (9-6) worked six innings, allowing eight hits and two runs while fanning nine for the win.

Pablo Sandoval hit a solo homer and Orlando Cabrera drove in the other run for the Giants, who skidded to their fifth loss in seven. San Francisco has dropped three straight series at AT&T Park for the first time since losing six consecutive home series from May 12-June 18, 2008. They also fell a half-game behind Arizona for first place in the NL West, marking the first time the Giants are out of sole possession of the top spot since June 24.

Jonathan Sanchez (4-7) lasted just 4 1/3 frames, charged with four hits and five runs -- four earned -- with four walks despite six strikeouts.

"It has me a little concerned," Bochy said of the instability at the fifth- starter spot. "We need that guy to help us win a ballgame, too. We haven't had a good start there in I don't know how many times now."

Aubrey Huff doubled in the home fourth and scored on a Cabrera single to make it 4-2, but Pittsburgh restored its three-run edge in the fifth when McCutchen walked, advanced on a wild pitch, went to third on a groundout and scored on a Garrett Jones base hit.

The visitors increased their lead to 8-2 in the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out, Diaz singled home McCutchen and Brandon Wood followed by lacing a two-run base hit to center.

In the ninth, Ludwick stroked a leadoff double and eventually came around to score on a two-out hit from Ronny Cedeno.

Ludwick's RBI single in the first put the Bucs on the board, then Sandoval countered in the home half with a two-out shot to right. It marked the 19th consecutive solo homer for San Francisco, tying the all-time mark with the 1914 Phillies.

Karstens worked a leadoff walk in the third and McCutchen reached the seats in center for a 3-1 lead. Steve Pearce followed with a base on balls, reached third on a Cabrera throwing error, then scored on a Diaz single.

Game Notes

Karstens hadn't won since July 15, going 0-2 with two no-decisions since then...Sanchez is winless in six starts dating back to June 2...The season series ended in a six-game split...Pirates infielder Derrek Lee was scratched prior to the game with soreness in his hand...Pittsburgh also announced Wednesday that pitcher Kevin Hart underwent surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama by noted specialist Dr. James Andrews. Hart hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 and had a similar shoulder procedure last May.


    Aug 10 6:42 PM

  • Michael McKenry struck out swinging to end the inning.

    Pirates 9, Giants 2  Mid 9Aug 10 6:36 PM

  • Brandon Wood single to center scored Neil Walker and Ryan Ludwick with one out. On the play, Matt Diaz advances to third. Runners on first and third and Ronny Cedeno due up.

    Pirates 8, Giants 2  Top 7, 1 OutAug 10 6:00 PM

  • Matt Diaz single to right scored Andrew McCutchen with one out. On the play, Ryan Ludwick advances to second and Neil Walker advances to third. Bases loaded and Brandon Wood due up.

    Pirates 6, Giants 2  Top 7, 1 OutAug 10 5:58 PM
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    Pirates 5, Giants 2  Bot 6, 1 OutAug 10 5:38 PM

  • Garrett Jones single to right scored Andrew McCutchen with one out. Runner on first and Ryan Ludwick due up.

    Pirates 5, Giants 2  Top 5, 1 OutAug 10 5:03 PM
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    Pirates 4, Giants 2  Top 5, 1 OutAug 10 5:02 PM

  • Orlando Cabrera single to center scored Aubrey Huff with two outs. Runner on first and Aaron Rowand due up.

    Pirates 4, Giants 2  Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 10 4:54 PM

  • Brandon Wood struck out swinging to end the inning.

    Pirates 4, Giants 1  Mid 3Aug 10 4:30 PM

  • Andrew McCutchen none-out, two-run Home Run (16) to center scored Jeff Karstens. Steve Pearce due up.

    Pirates 3, Giants 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 10 4:22 PM
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    Pirates 3, Giants 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 10 4:22 PM

  • Pablo Sandoval two-out, solo Home Run (13) to right. Aubrey Huff due up.

    Pirates 1, Giants 1  Bot 1, 2 OutsAug 10 4:01 PM
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    Pirates 1, Giants 1  Bot 1, 2 OutsAug 10 4:01 PM

  • Ryan Ludwick single to left scored Andrew McCutchen with two outs. Runner on first and Matt Diaz due up.

    Pirates 1, Giants 0  Top 1, 2 OutsAug 10 3:54 PM

    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Aug 10 3:46 PM
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    Pirates vs. GiantsAug 10 12:50 PM
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    Pirates vs. GiantsAug 10 8:51 AM