PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Daniel Hudson crouched on the infield and slammed his fists into the grass -- a gesture of frustration. With two outs and runners on the corners in the 11th inning, he had just tossed a full-count slider to Buster Posey that slipped past catcher Elias Diaz,
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Daniel Hudson crouched on the infield and slammed his fists into the grass -- a gesture of frustration. With two outs and runners on the corners in the 11th inning, he had just tossed a full-count slider to Buster Posey that slipped past catcher Elias Diaz, allowing Giants center fielder Denard Span to score from third. It was the deciding run in San Francisco's 2-1 win over the Bucs on Saturday at PNC Park.
"If I was going to get beat right there, I was going to get beat with my best pitch for right-handers this year, which is my slider," Hudson said. "I just got a little too much bite on it."
Hudson had issued a walk to Span with one out. Span moved to third on a passed ball and Joe Panik's single. And he sprinted home as soon as Hudson's pitch sailed to the backstop. Sam Dyson allowed a one-out single in the bottom of the frame, induced a groundout from Andrew McCutchen and struck out David Freese to seal the Giants' fifth consecutive victory, matching a season high.
"it's not a huge sample size, but I think overall we have played well," Posey said. "We've been swinging the bats better. Today was one of those games we feel like we haven't won all year. ... I feel like those are the type of games we've been so good at being able to win over the years."
Before the extra-inning dramatics, Saturday's game was an unexpected pitchers' duel. Left-hander Matt Moore entered the game with the highest ERA (6.04) among qualified starters in the National League. Right-hander Chad Kuhl's ERA wasn't far behind at 5.58. But Kuhl flirted with a no-hitter before he allowed a home run in the sixth. He still completed six innings for the first time since April 18, limiting the Giants to two hits on 75 pitches. His day ended when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
"He wants to pitch deeper into games. He put himself in a position to do that today," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Proud of his effort today."
Moore was less efficient, needing 104 pitches to complete 5 2/3 innings. He became the latest victim of McCutchen's resurgence at the plate, as he doubled in the third and scored on Josh Bell's single. That was the only run Moore allowed, the first time since May 13 that he only allowed one run.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Opportunities lost: The Pirates failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity to walk off in the ninth. Giants right-hander Hunter Strickland issued three straight walks to load the bases with two outs. But Strickland battled back to strike out Diaz, who stranded nine batters on the day. The Pirates had other chances to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard with the bases loaded in the first and sixth, but failed to score in either frame. In total, the Pirates stranded 15 runners.
"We put [runners] out there every inning," Hurdle said. "At the end of the day, it's all about scoring runs. We weren't able to get them in today. There's nothing we can do about that now."
Breaking up the no-hit bid: Kuhl had a no-hitter going into the sixth, but leadoff hitter Austin Slater changed that with one big swing of the bat. Slater drove Kuhl's first pitch just over the center-field wall, past McCutchen's glove and into the bullpen. Slater's game-tying homer had an exit velocity of 101.5 miles per hour and a launch angle of 35 degrees and traveled a projected 403 feet, according to Statcast™.
"Off the bat, I was like, 'That's got a chance,'" Slater said. "But I thought [McCutchen] caught it. I think everyone thought he caught it."
"I was just worried about executing pitches. Maybe later in the game, if you got through seven or eight innings, then obviously it's pretty apparent that you have one going. In the end, I just focus on executing pitches and trying to win a ballgame." -- Kuhl, on whether he was thinking about a no-hitter
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The Giants issued 10 walks, but only allowed one run. This marked just the third time since 1913 the Giants walked that many batters and held the opposition to one run or fewer (also: July 4, 1960, at the Cubs and April 18, 1987, against the Braves).
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
It appeared Pirates shortstop Max Moroff had hit into a double play to end the sixth, but the Bucs challenged the call that Moroff was out at first. The review showed Moroff had beaten the throw to first, overturning the ruling on the field, then the Giants challenged to determine if Gregory Polanco had violated the slide rule at second base. The call that Polanco did not violate the slide rule was confirmed, and the inning continued.
With one out in the seventh and Brandon Belt on first base, Brandon Crawford launched a fly ball to center field off Pirates reliever Tony Watson. McCutchen settled under the ball for the second out as Belt -- who slid into second base and returned to his feet on the third-base side of the bag -- retreated back to first. Pirates first baseman Bell received McCutchen's throw and fired to Moroff, who stepped on second base. Belt was ruled safe at first, but Hurdle challenged the ruling. After a replay review, umpires determined that Belt did not retouch second base on his way back to first, running into an unusual inning-ending double play.
The Pirates lost their challenge in the 10th inning when they questioned whether Felipe Rivero's 100.1 mph fastball hit Ryder Jones on the right hand. The call was confirmed, and Jones remained at first base. Jones underwent X-rays, which revealed no fracture, though Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the rookie might be sidelined until the Detroit series beginning Tuesday.
In the bottom of the 10th, crew chief Brian Gorman called for a review of an inning-ending double play. Adam Frazier hit a ground ball to Panik, and Polanco was ruled out at second base before Crawford threw out Frazier at first base. The call was confirmed after a replay review.
Giants: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who's scheduled to start Sunday's series finale beginning at 10:35 a.m. PT, has extensive experience against the Pirates, dating back to his. National League Central days with the Cubs. In 23 career games (12 starts) facing Pittsburgh, he's 4-4 with a 2.90 ERA.
Pirates: Right-hander Trevor Williams will start Sunday in the series finale against the Giants at 1:35 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Williams continues to prove worthy of the spot he has claimed in the rotation, posting a 3.91 ERA in his last nine starts. Tuesday may have been his best effort, as he held the Rays to two runs while striking out seven and pitching into the eighth inning.
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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.