Tucker homers in debut, Pirates top Giants 3-1 in 5 innings

PITTSBURGH (AP) Cole Tucker's day began with him frantically packing up what he could in his Indianapolis apartment in the middle of the night, grabbing a 5 a.m. flight to Pittsburgh with fellow Pirates call-up Bryan Reynolds and trying not to be overwhelmed by the prospect of his major league debut.

It ended with a 431-foot homer into shrubs beyond the center field fence at PNC Park, an unlikely curtain call, a series of selfies in a downpour, 510 unread text messages (and counting) and a rain-shortened 3-1 Pirates victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday that left the 22-year-old both elated and exhausted.

Tucker admitted he didn't sleep one bit after getting the call around 1 a.m. telling him he was headed to the big leagues after Pittsburgh lost starting shortstop Erik Gonzalez to a broken collarbone following a collision with center fielder Starling Marte on Friday night.

Funny, the rookie didn't look a bit tired when he turned on a 91 mph sinker from Derek Holland (1-3) and deposited it between the ''T'' and the ''E'' in the ''Pirates'' bush for a two-run shot in the fifth that put Pittsburgh ahead to stay.

The team's first-round pick in the 2014 draft kept it together until rounding second, when he saw his teammates celebrating in the dugout and the crowd on its feet. He made the ''I Love You'' sign to his family in the stands and - after some prodding - stepped back onto the field for a curtain call.

Not bad for a self-proclaimed ''skinny, not home-run-hitter guy.''

''It was loud man, people were screaming,'' Tucker said. ''It was really, really cool. I might never do that again in my life. But to say that I did that and for my family to be here to see that and to introduce myself to this city and this club in that fashion is like, storybook.''

An arrival that gave the Pirates a welcome jolt after losing Gonzalez for at least two months and Marte for 10 days and possibly more after they smacked into each other at full speed while trying to track down a fly ball to center field. Marte is dealing with bruises to both his abdomen and right leg, while Gonzalez will have his left arm in a sling indefinitely.

For a day anyway, the NL Central-leading Pirates overcame their absences thanks in part to the kid with the shaggy hair and the palpable joy, the one who became the first Pittsburgh player to homer in his first big league game since Marte did it on July 26, 2012, against Houston.

''I didn't show up thinking, oh, I'm stressed thinking Marte got hurt or Erik got hurt or what have you,''' Tucker said. ''But it definitely felt like we needed a pick-me-up today, losing two of our boys. So it was sweet to go out and do that.''

Reynolds, acquired from the Giants in a January 2018 trade that sent Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco, laced a single off Holland in the fourth for first major league hit. Jung Ho Kang added his third home run and Jameson Taillon (1-2) allowed one run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts to win for the first time in five starts this season for the Pirates, who have won five straight.

Steven Duggar laced an RBI single off Taillon in the fifth to tie it, but Tucker's shot off Holland in the bottom of the inning - one pitch after Tucker stepped out of the box because he was startled by a lightning bolt that flashed over the city skyline - was quickly followed by a delay of 3 hours, 8 minutes, before the game was called. The Giants have dropped four straight and five of six.

''If it wasn't for bad luck, right now we wouldn't have any,'' San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ''That's how things have been going.''

Holland struck out seven in five innings but Pittsburgh punished his mistakes. Kang crushed a 79 mph breaking ball and sent it well into the seats in left field leading off the fourth. Pablo Reyes started the bottom of the fifth with a walk, moved to second on Taillon's sacrifice and trotted home on Tucker's memorable swing.

Asked if he had a problem with Tucker coming out for a curtain call - one Tucker made while Holland was in the middle of striking out Kang - Holland shrugged.

''The kid is living in the moment,'' Holland said. ''It's a major league debut and he hit a homer. Good for him. It's not what I wanted. That's for sure.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Pirates: Held 2B Adam Frazier out of the lineup with back spasms. ... RHP Jordan Lyles played catch and should be ready for his next start. Lyles took a line drive off his pitching hand against the Giants on Friday.

UP NEXT

The weekend series concludes Sunday when Chris Archer (1-0, 2.00 ERA) faces San Francisco's Dereck Rodriguez (3-3, 3.63).

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123456789RHE
SF8-14
00001----140
PIT12-6
00012----341
  • W: J. Taillon (1-2)L: D. Holland (1-3)
  • HR: PIT - C. Tucker (1), J. Kang (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
S. Duggar RF30110000.244.280.407.6872.0
G. Parra LF30000012.213.300.311.6111.5
B. Posey C20000001.210.290.290.5800.0
B. Belt 1B20000010.225.329.479.808-0.5
E. Longoria 3B20000000.218.256.372.6280.0
B. Crawford SS10000100.203.272.230.5011.0
K. Pillar CF21200000.189.203.378.5813.0
J. Panik 2B20000003.186.269.220.4890.0
D. Holland P20100010.125.125.125.2500.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Tucker SS31121011.333.3331.3331.6676.5
    J. Kang 3B31111020.154.228.365.5935.0
    F. Cervelli C20000010.161.224.226.450-0.5
    J. Bell 1B20000010.302.378.556.934-0.5
    B. Reynolds CF20100010.500.500.5001.0000.5
    J. Shuck RF20000011.250.400.313.713-0.5
    P. Reyes 2B11000100.111.200.111.3112.0
    J. Martin LF20100001.348.400.435.8351.0
    J. Taillon P00000000.143.143.143.2860.0
      BATTING
      • RBI - S. Duggar (11)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Posey, J. Panik 2 (2)
      BATTING
      • HR - C. Tucker, J. Kang (3)
      • SH - J. Taillon 2 (3)
      • RBI - C. Tucker 2 (2), J. Kang (7)
      • 2-Out RBI - C. Tucker 2 (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Tucker, J. Shuck
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - G. Parra (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Kang-Tucker)
      • E - J. Kang
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      D. Holland (L, 1-3)5.04331724.331.225.5
      PITCHERSIP
      D. Holland (L, 1-3)5.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Taillon (W, 1-2)5.04111303.121.1217.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Taillon (W, 1-2)5.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - D. Holland 78-50
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Holland 6-2
      • Batters Faced - D. Holland 20
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Taillon 79-56
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Taillon 6-6
      • Batters Faced - J. Taillon 20
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      SF8-14
      00001----140
      PIT12-6
      00012----341
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      S. Duggar RF30110000.244.280.407.6872.0
      G. Parra LF30000012.213.300.311.6111.5
      B. Posey C20000001.210.290.290.5800.0
      B. Belt 1B20000010.225.329.479.808-0.5
      E. Longoria 3B20000000.218.256.372.6280.0
      B. Crawford SS10000100.203.272.230.5011.0
      K. Pillar CF21200000.189.203.378.5813.0
      J. Panik 2B20000003.186.269.220.4890.0
      D. Holland P20100010.125.125.125.2500.5
      Total191410136-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        C. Tucker SS31121011.333.3331.3331.6676.5
        J. Kang 3B31111020.154.228.365.5935.0
        F. Cervelli C20000010.161.224.226.450-0.5
        J. Bell 1B20000010.302.378.556.934-0.5
        B. Reynolds CF20100010.500.500.5001.0000.5
        J. Shuck RF20000011.250.400.313.713-0.5
        P. Reyes 2B11000100.111.200.111.3112.0
        J. Martin LF20100001.348.400.435.8351.0
        J. Taillon P00000000.143.143.143.2860.0
        Total173432173-----
          BATTING
          • RBI - S. Duggar (11)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Posey, J. Panik 2 (2)
          BATTING
          • HR - C. Tucker, J. Kang (3)
          • SH - J. Taillon 2 (3)
          • RBI - C. Tucker 2 (2), J. Kang (7)
          • 2-Out RBI - C. Tucker 2 (2)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Tucker, J. Shuck
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - G. Parra (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Kang-Tucker)
          • E - J. Kang
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          D. Holland (L, 1-3)5.04331724.331.225.5
          Total5.0433172---
          PITCHERSIP
          D. Holland (L, 1-3)5.0
          Total5.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Taillon (W, 1-2)5.04111303.121.1217.5
          Total5.0411130---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Taillon (W, 1-2)5.0
          Total5.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - D. Holland 78-50
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Holland 6-2
          • Batters Faced - D. Holland 20
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Taillon 79-56
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Taillon 6-6
          • Batters Faced - J. Taillon 20
          • 5TH INNING
            Tucker homered to center, Reyes scored13
            Duggar singled to left, Pillar scored, Holland to second11
          • 4TH INNING
            Kang homered to left01
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Taillon Pitching:
            • K. Pillar: Strike looking, Pillar singled to right center
            • J. Panik: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Panik popped out to third
            • D. Holland: Ball, Ball, Holland reached on bunt single to shortstop, Pillar to second
            • S. Duggar: Ball, Ball, Duggar singled to left, Pillar scored, Holland to second
            • G. Parra: Parra lined out to third, Holland out at second
            • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Holland Pitching:
            • P. Reyes: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Reyes walked
            • J. Martin: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Martin flied out to deep center
            • J. Taillon: Taillon hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Reyes to second
            • C. Tucker: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Tucker homered to center, Reyes scored
            • J. Kang: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Kang struck out looking
            • End of the 5th (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Taillon Pitching:
            • B. Belt: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Belt struck out swinging
            • E. Longoria: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Longoria grounded out to third
            • B. Crawford: Crawford flied out to deep center
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Holland Pitching:
            • J. Kang: Ball, Kang homered to left
            • F. Cervelli: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cervelli grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Bell: Ball, Bell grounded out to third
            • B. Reynolds: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Reynolds singled to left center
            • J. Shuck: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Shuck struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Taillon Pitching:
            • D. Holland: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Holland struck out swinging
            • S. Duggar: Strike looking, Duggar grounded out to shortstop
            • G. Parra: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Parra safe at first on 3rd baseman Kang throwing error
            • B. Posey: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Parra stole second, Foul, Foul, Posey grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
            • D. Holland Pitching:
            • P. Reyes: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Reyes grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Martin: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Martin singled to right center
            • J. Taillon: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Taillon hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Martin to second
            • C. Tucker: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Taillon Pitching:
            • B. Belt: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Belt popped out to third
            • E. Longoria: Strike looking, Ball, Longoria grounded out to third
            • B. Crawford: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Crawford walked
            • K. Pillar: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Pillar singled to center, Crawford to second
            • J. Panik: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Panik lined out to first
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • D. Holland Pitching:
            • J. Bell: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bell struck out swinging
            • B. Reynolds: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Reynolds struck out swinging
            • J. Shuck: Strike looking, Ball, Shuck grounded out to second
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Taillon Pitching:
            • S. Duggar: Foul, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Duggar lined out to left
            • G. Parra: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Parra struck out swinging
            • B. Posey: Posey grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Holland Pitching:
            • C. Tucker: Strike swinging, Ball, Tucker lined out to left
            • J. Kang: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Kang struck out looking
            • F. Cervelli: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Cervelli struck out looking
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)