Categories: Breaking News MLB

Giants clinch a winning June record

PITTSBURGH — A makeshift lineup was more than enough for the San Francisco Giants.

Joe Panik hit a bases-loaded triple, Mac Williamson launched a 446-foot home run and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Thursday for their 12th win in 14 games.

The NL West leaders, already missing injured Hunter Pence and Chris Duffy, played without regulars Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan in the starting lineup.

“I’m proud of these guys with what we’ve gone through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You find a way to win the game with a rookie who battled very well today against a good club, a club we haven’t had a lot of success against here and it is, it’s a great feeling.”

The Giants took three of four at PNC Park. Pittsburgh has lost 11 of 14, dropped to 5-17 in June and fell five games under .500.

After hitting a key double late in Wednesday night’s win, Panik put the Giants ahead 3-1 with his triple in the third inning. Williamson followed with an RBI single.

“If you only get one hit a game, you have to make them count, right?” Panik said. “You want to be in those situations and you just have to make them count.”

Williamson connected for his second home run of the season in the sixth.

Albert Suarez gave up two earned runs and four hits in five innings.

Suarez threw a season-high 102 pitches in his fourth start of the season while filling in for the injured Matt Cain. He struck out six.

“I was trying to be more aggressive,” Suarez said. “You’re going to have to be aggressive because if not, they’re going to get comfortable.”

Santiago Casilla struck out three in the ninth for his 16th save.

The Giants’ bullpen shut down the Pirates for the second consecutive game. George Kontos, Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin and Casilla combined to pitched four scoreless innings a day after the Giants used five relievers to pitch six shutout innings.

Jonathon Niese was tagged for five runs in six innings. He lamented the four-run third.

“The most frustrating part about that inning was that triple,” he said. “I just wish I could have had that back. It was a sinker inside. He just got barrel on it. It’s crazy how one swing of the bat can ruin your whole outing.”

Gregory Polanco hit two sacrifice flies for the Pirates. Josh Harrison added an RBI triple.

Associated Press

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