PITTSBURGH (AP) — Angel Pagan hit a grand slam during a seven-run fourth inning, Johnny Cueto shut down Pittsburgh into the seventh and the San Francisco Giants clobbered the Pirates 15-4 on Tuesday night.
Conor Gillaspie also homered during the fourth among his four hits and Gregor Blanco scored three times for San Francisco, which won a night after having an eight-game winning streak snapped in Pittsburgh.
Cueto (11-1) moved into a tie for the National League lead in wins by extending his career-best winning streak to eight and improving to 19-4 against the Pirates. Cueto allowed one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Indianapolis, Wilfredo Boscan (1-1) allowed one baserunner over the first three innings of his first major league start, but did not retire any of the seven batters he faced in the fourth.
Pittsburgh (34-37) has lost 11 of 13 to fall into sixth place in the NL wild-card race.
The first nine Giants who came up in the fourth inning reached base.
After Brandon Crawford drove in the game’s first run by drawing an 11-pitch walk, Pagan took the next pitch Boscan threw into the seats in right-center for his third homer of the season and second grand slam of his career.
After Blanco doubled, Gillaspie homered.
That was the final pitch for Boscan (1-1), who had a prior stint with Pittsburgh this season out of the bullpen. He took the rotation spot of Juan Nicasio, who’s on the restricted list attending to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.
Every Giants starter reached base at least once; all but Cueto had at least one hit. Brandon Belt and Buster Posey each had two hits and two runs.
San Francisco, which also had a five-run eighth inning, had season highs in runs and hits (22).
It got so bad for the Pirates that Erik Kratz, their 36-year-old, third-string catcher, pitched the ninth inning. He allowed two hits but no runs and had a strikeout in what was his second pitching appearance of the season (April 26 for Houston against Seattle).
When Kratz was on the mound, backup catcher Chris Stewart was playing first base and their fourth-string catcher, Jacob Stallings, was catching. Playing in his second game for the Pirates, incidentally, Stallings had his first major league hit and RBI with a double in the eighth inning.
Giants: 3B Matt Duffy was placed on the disabled list because of a left Achilles strain (OF Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento to take his roster spot). Manager Bruce Bochy said Gillaspie would get “the lion’s share” of the playing time at third base in Duffy’s stead, although Ramiro Pena also will play some. Williamson gives San Francisco a right-handed bat that Bochy said will start the next two days against Pittsburgh left-handers. Duffy was fitted for a walking boot Tuesday, and Bochy said he would be out for close to three weeks. . Bochy said INF Kelby Tomlinson was expected to have a splint removed from his left thumb Tuesday. Tomlinson, who has been on the disabled list since June 10, is expected to resume baseball activities when the team returns to San Francisco this weekend.
Pirates: OF Starling Marte left the game in the eighth inning because of left foot discomfort sustained tracking down Ramiro Pena’s triple. He was being evaluated by Pirates medical staff after leaving the game but there was no immediate update on the injury’s seriousness.
Stewart’s appearance was his first in four days since experiencing knee soreness.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-4, 3.14 ERA) is coming off the eighth complete game of his career Friday at Tampa Bay. He will make his 11th career start against the Pirates, tying for the most of any opponent. He has a 2.25 ERA vs. Pittsburgh.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-7, 5.03) has lost his past four starts, giving up 20 runs (16 earned) in 21 innings over that span. But he has won his past four outings against the Giants, posting a 2.13 ERA against them in that span.