SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Friday's 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates gave the Giants a much-needed collective triumph, the result didn't obscure Buster Posey's individual deeds.The Giants, who broke a three-game losing streak, welcomed this reminder that they could sustain a Major League offensive effort. They scored three first-inning runs,
SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Friday's 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates gave the Giants a much-needed collective triumph, the result didn't obscure Buster Posey's individual deeds.
The Giants, who broke a three-game losing streak, welcomed this reminder that they could sustain a Major League offensive effort. They scored three first-inning runs, engineering the rare (for them) feat of amassing multiple runs at the game's outset.
Ignited by Andrew McCutchen's leadoff home run, they sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and 10 more in the third. This marked the only time this season besides July 8 against St. Louis that they batted around in an inning twice in one game. Every starter hit safely and scored at least once, including pitcher Derek Holland.
San Francisco's 13-run outburst equaled its season high and matched its total for its previous five games.
More often than not, the Giants' uprisings featured Posey, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. He singled and scored in the first inning, delivered a two-run single in the third and added an RBI single in the fourth.
Skeptics say that the Giants, who dream of strengthening their bid for a postseason berth, lack a formidable hitter who commands respect and intimidates pitchers. Through most of his career, which includes a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP Award, a batting title and six All-Star recognitions, Posey has indeed been The Man for the Giants.
So if this performance was an announcement that Posey is primed to propel San Francisco through the next 45 games, that's just fine with the Giants.
"He's been swinging the bat a lot better," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey, who's batting .419 (18-for-43) in his last 11 games. "That's the kind of hitter he is."
On a less-productive offensive night for the Giants, Holland's performance might not have seemed so acceptable. He lasted 6 1/3 innings while yielding 10 hits and five runs (four earned) to gain his first victory since June 20.
"I'm a little upset with myself. They put the runs up; I have to keep the momentum on our side," Holland said.
Holland nearly received a no-decision as the Pirates closed with flurries of offense. Francisco Cervelli's seventh-inning grand slam and eighth-inning RBI single helped narrow the difference to 12-9. Josh Bell then smacked a drive to center field that briefly appeared destined to clear the wall and trim San Francisco's lead to a thin run. But Steven Duggar caught the ball just in front of the barrier.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Giants were concerned when Pirates right-hander Kyle Crick, formerly a top San Francisco prospect, hit Evan Longoria in the back during the seventh inning. Longoria left the game.
"I guess if there's a good spot to get hit with [a] 97-[mph fastball], I got probably the best spot," Longoria said. "It was at the point of the game where if I'm trying to give myself the best chance to play tomorrow, the best chance is just to get out right then and get some ice on it. … I don't think there's anything significantly wrong."
Television cameras caught Longoria and several other Giants looking upset with Crick, who also came close to hitting Joe Panik.
Added Longoria, "I think everybody was more upset just because when a guy's throwing that hard and he really doesn't have an idea of where it's going. … Obviously you're not expecting the guy to throw the ball over the middle of the plate every time. But when a guy's throwing that hard and he's throwing it all over, it doesn't make for a good situation. You just don't want to see anybody get hurt."
McCutchen recorded four walks, matching his career high. It was the third time he drew four free passes, most recently on Sept. 20, 2015, at Los Angeles. McCutchen thus helped the Giants amass a season-high 11 walks. That's the most they've totaled in a game since Aug. 8, 2016, at Miami.
After what promises to be an emotional ceremony during which all-time home run leader Barry Bonds' jersey No. 25 will be retired, the Giants will resume the business of striving for a postseason spot when they entertain the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:05 p.m. PT. Left-hander Ty Blach, who began the season in the starting rotation before moving to the bullpen in late May, will start for the Giants. He'll be opposed by right-hander Trevor Williams (9-8).
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.