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Pittsburgh at San Francisco

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Pittsburgh (55-59) «2010200005121
San Francisco (63-53)000000000060

Pirates snap 10-game losing skid, blank Giants

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Clint Hurdle exhaled and enjoyed a quiet moment after finishing up his postgame duties with the press corps.

"It beats the heck out of losing," the Pittsburgh skipper said with a smile.

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His Pirates were winners again, for a night anyway. They pitched. They played solid defense. They produced the timely hits that had been missing during this skid.

And they did it against the defending World Series champions with a sellout crowd cheering against them.

Charlie Morton and Jose Veras combined on a six-hitter, Ryan Ludwick hit a pair of RBI singles and Pittsburgh snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory against the slumping San Francisco Giants on Monday night.

"All in all, it was one of the better games we've had the last couple weeks," Hurdle said. "It's a good start. It's all we could do tonight to go play a complete ballgame."

Garrett Jones doubled among his four hits and scored twice to help back Morton (9-6), who improved to 6-2 on the road this season.

The Pirates battered Giants All-Star Ryan Vogelsong (9-2), who lost for the first time in 13 starts since May 26. His only other loss came the day after San Francisco lost its catcher and reigning NL rookie of the year Buster Posey to a season-ending broken leg on May 25.

The reigning champs are mired in their own funk of late, losing for the ninth time in 11 games with another night of missed chances on offense.

Still, San Francisco stayed a half-game ahead of Arizona in the NL West after the Diamondbacks lost 9-1 at home to Houston.

Morton pitched eight sharp innings and Veras finished Pittsburgh's ninth shutout and sixth on the road.

"We were feeling a little pressure when you have a losing streak like that," Morton said.

The Giants -- held to two or fewer runs for the eighth time in 10 games -- were blanked for the third time in nine games and 10th overall.

Nate Schierholtz hit a double and two singles for San Francisco playing in place of the injured Carlos Beltran, who had an MRI exam before the game that showed a strain in his right hand and wrist.

There weren't many other highlights from the home team.

"It's frustrating," catcher Eli Whiteside said. "When you're not scoring any runs, it's tough on the pitching staff, too. Trying to throw a shutout every night is tough. It's tough on the starters, it's tough on the bullpen. We just have to relax."

Vogelsong struck out cleanup hitter Derrek Lee three times but Ludwick did damage in the No. 5 hole coming off two hitless games. Neil Walker added an RBI double batting third.

It sure was good timing for Pittsburgh, which exactly two weeks earlier won at Atlanta and sat in first place in the NL Central. Before winning Monday, the Pirates had gone 1-12 since and fell into fourth in the division -- 10 games behind the first-place Brewers.

The skid was the club's longest since dropping 12 in a row from June 6-18 last year.

"It definitely feels good to get a win, and a win like this with Charlie getting a shutout against a good team, to turn things around," Jones said. "We were in a little rut. You have to remember to just have fun and play our game. We did that."

Vogelsong, the improbable All-Star and steady starter who replaced $126 million lefty Barry Zito in the rotation, had his career-best winning streak snapped at six consecutive decisions. He stayed put as the National League ERA leader -- just barely. Vogelsong owns a 2.48 mark, while Phillies ace Roy Halladay lowered his ERA to 2.51 in an outing against the Dodgers.

Vogelsong was tagged for five runs on nine hits in five innings. He matched his season high with eight strikeouts, which he also did in his first start of the season -- against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on April 28.

He didn't get much help from the hitters. San Francisco squandered chances yet again, going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and grounding into inning-ending double plays in the fourth and fifth.

The Giants avoided a four-game sweep by the Phillies with a 3-1 victory Sunday, but managed only three runs on 13 hits. They are batting .161 (20 for 124) during their past 18 games with runners in scoring position.

"It was pretty flat out there tonight. I don't know why. When you don't get a big hit to knock in a run occasionally, it makes it tougher," manager Bruce Bochy said. "This has been going on for a while and we need to do something about. It's not going to happen until we do come through with some clutch hitting."

Giants ace Tim Lincecum reported no problems a day after Chase Utley's flying bat hit him in the right knee.

"Just a little bruise," the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner said.

Notes

  • The Pirates have won the opener in nine of their 10 road trips so far.
  • Zito allowed three runs on seven hits, struck out seven and walked two in 7 2/3 innings of a rehab outing for Class A San Jose. He threw 99 pitches, 70 for strikes.
  • San Francisco RHP Ramon Ramirez and Whiteside received only fines for their part in Friday night's benches-clearing brawl. Phillies CF Shane Victorino was suspended three games.
  • LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-11, 3.71 ERA) makes his second career appearance vs. the Pirates on Tuesday night. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings April 27 in Pittsburgh.
  • Pirates RHP James McDonald (7-5, 4.23) tries to keep his strong second half going Tuesday. McDonald is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. He has a team-high 102 strikeouts.
  • The Pirates are 49-0 when leading after eight innings.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Reliever Jose Veras and catcher Michael McKenry celebrate the end of the Pirates' 10-game losing streak. (Getty Images)
Reliever Jose Veras and catcher Michael McKenry celebrate the end of the Pirates' 10-game losing streak. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

C. Morton
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 3
K 4
Pittsburgh

G. Jones
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF5120020 .273
Garrett Jones, RF5240010 .249
    Xavier Paul, RF0000000 .267
Neil Walker, 2B5111001 .277
Derrek Lee, 1B4010034 .247
Ryan Ludwick, LF3122101 .241
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3011122 .208
Brandon Wood, SS4011003 .230
Michael McKenry, C4000022 .246
Charlie Morton, P4000030 .027
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
Totals375125213  
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (27, Ramirez), Garrett Jones (21, Vogelsong), Neil Walker (20, Vogelsong)
3B - Derrek Lee (2, Mota)
RBI - Neil Walker (67), Ryan Ludwick 2 (68), Pedro Alvarez (15), Brandon Wood (25)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick 2 (19), Pedro Alvarez (7), Brandon Wood (10)
SB - Garrett Jones (5, 2nd base off Vogelsong/Whiteside)
CS - Neil Walker (4, 2nd base by Ramirez/Whiteside)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Alvarez-Lee, Morton-Wood-Lee
E - Brandon Wood (3, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (W,9-6) 8600340 3.56
Jose Veras 1000110 3.19
WP - Charlie Morton (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 115-71, Jose Veras 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 13-6
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 32, Jose Veras 4
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF3010101 .233
Jeff Keppinger, 2B3000002 .303
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .143
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
   a- Mark DeRosa, PH1000000 .154
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4000001 .311
Aubrey Huff, 1B3010121 .244
Nate Schierholtz, RF4030001 .280
Orlando Cabrera, SS3000115 .241
Aaron Rowand, LF4000014 .245
Eli Whiteside, C4000013 .210
Ryan Vogelsong, P1000000 .205
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH-2B2010101 .216
Totals3206045  
a-grounded out for Casilla in the 8th
b-singled for Vogelsong in the 5th
Batting
2B - Nate Schierholtz (21, Morton)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Fontenot-Cabrera-Whiteside
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ryan Vogelsong (L,9-2) 5955280 2.48
Guillermo Mota 2100040 3.92
Santiago Casilla 1000010 1.82
Ramon Ramirez 1200000 2.85
IBB - Ludwick by Ryan Vogelsong
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Vogelsong 90-56, Guillermo Mota 25-19, Santiago Casilla 12-7, Ramon Ramirez 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Vogelsong 4-3, Ramon Ramirez 1-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Vogelsong 26, Guillermo Mota 7, Santiago Casilla 3, Ramon Ramirez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42405
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Ed Hickox