San Francisco 6 – Pittsburgh 5

Win Barry Zito (7-6)
Loss Erik Bedard (4-10)
The Pirates (46-37, 27-14 home) four game winning streak was snapped and the bigger concern out of tonight’s 6-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants (46-38, 20-22 away) at PNC Park is the continued struggles of starter Erik Bedard (4-10, 4.80 ERA) who lasted just 3.2 innings, suffering his 10th loss of the season.
Bedard cruised through the first three innings allowing no hits and walking one, but everything went down hill in the fourth inning as the Giants turned a three-run deficit into a 5-3 lead after four.
Bedard walked Christian to start the inning and Ryan Theriot doubled to right scoring Christian and Bedard could just never get it together in the inning. Next up was Melky Cabrera and Bedard left a breaking ball in Cabrera’s “hot zone” and Cabrera homered to left for his 8th home run of the season and it was all tied up at three. The Giants would add two more runs in the inning and Bedard’s night was over after 3 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits and 5 runs, while walking 3 in the loss.
“I think we saw him really improve after lead off walk in first inning, made some pitches to get through first, and in second, third innings very crisp, good location, changed speed well, ” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Fourth inning was a bad inning all around. Leadoff walk to the same hitter, got a ball in Cabrera’s hot zone, a breaking ball that he probably wanted lower that was down and in which is one of his spots. Then ball was just elevated rest of innings. We’ll look at some tape and try to help him figure some things out.”
The view on Bedard of late is that he’s relying on his breaking ball way too much and he hasn’t had the type of command on his fastball he had in the first six weeks of the season when he was ringing up a lot of batters tight inside or on the outside corners.
“I didn’t feel anything different, they were just hitting pitches, ” Bedard said afterwards. “I feel better than I’ve felt in past two years, ” Bedard said when asked about his health.
Bedard is now 2-6 with a 6.31 ERA in his last 10 starts and he’s becoming a big concern going into the second half. Bedard has pitched 4 innings or less in four of his last seven starts and Pirate starters struggling to eat innings is going to tax the bullpen and the bottom of the rotation remains a question mark and is an area the Pirates aren’t ruiling out addressing at the trade deadline.
If this team falters in the second half it’s going to be because of the bottom of the rotation and the reality that players like Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee who are hitting so well after Andrew McCutchen won’t be able to keep up this pace.


Andrew McCutchen (.360 – 16 HR – 56 RBI) might not only be the best player in the National League, he is also the most exciting player. McCutchen had another big night going 3-5 with a triple, 2 RBIs and a run scored in the Pirates 6-5 loss. McCutchen had an RBI single in the first and then in the third smoked an hanging pitch from Barry Zito to the deepest part of the ballpark that as soon as the pitch came out of Zito’s hand you knew McCutchen was going to get most of it and he raced to third for his 5th triple of the season.
Andrew McCutchen’s NL Ranks
1st in NL in BA (.360)
2nd in NL in SLG (.610)
2nd in NL in OPS (1.023)
6th in NL in HR (16)
6th in NL in RBI (56)
7th in NL in R (54)
— The Pirates showed a lot of resilency in a back and forth game where they took a 3-0 lead, then lost it and fought back where they almost took the lead back.
“Absoutely, manager Clint Hurdle said on the Pirates showing resilency. “To jump out early, for them to jump back and us to continue to chip way, we continued to get people on base and had opportunities to tie the game. That’s the way were playing. Feeding off one another, ” Hurdle said.
The Pirates continue to get excellent production behind Andrew McCutchen of late. “Hitters are taking ownership of their at-bats, ” Hurdle said. “We’re not bruning up at-bats at the rate we were first two months of season.
No. 4 – No. 6 Hitters Tonight:
Casey McGehee (.247 – 6 HR – 27 RBI) homered in the 5th inning to cut San Francisco’s lead to 5-4. McGehee has 3 home runs and 11 RBIs in his last eleven games.
Neil Walker (.277 – 5 HR – 37 RBI) in the No. 5 spot tonight, had an RBI double in the third with a shot off the wall and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Walker’s 18 doubles ranks sixth among NL second baseman.
Pedro Alvarez (.234 – 16 HR – 49 RBI) belted his 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the 8th, an estimated 457 feet to get the Pirates back within one at 6-5. Alvarez homer was the first home run reliever Javier Lopez has given up since July 2010 when he was a member of the Pirates. Alvarez who leads all NL third basemen in home runs with 16, has 3 home runs and 14 RBIs in his last eight games.
— In relief of Erik Bedard, Chris Resop (3.35 ERA) pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings, allowing 0 hits and 0 walks, while striking out 3 and Resop earned high praise from manager Clint Hurdle afterwards who’s excitied about Resop going into the second half of the season. “He was very efficient, ” Hurdle said of Resop. “Swing and miss stuff. Very encouraged {with him} and he can help us in the second half.”
Next Up: The second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 p.m. in the scorching heat of 100 degrees has right hander Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.26 ERA) vs James McDonald (8-3, 2.45 ERA), featuring two of the best NL pitchers this season. Vogelsong who is showing he’s no fluke, leads the NL with an 2.26 ERA and McDonald ranks 4th in ERA. Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA on the road this season. McDonald has won three straight starts and has only lost once in his last nine starts. At home this season he has been excellent, going 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA.