Buster Posey’s first homer of the year and a relay throw by Joe Panik to get the final out of the game at the plate helped the San Francisco Giants salvage the final game of a three-game series, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.
Posey ended a 237-at-bat drought — the longest of his career — with one out in the fifth, putting the visitors in front with a three-run shot off Chris Archer and capping off a rally that Giants pitcher Dereck Rodriguez got rolling with a hit.
After Rodriguez reaches, Steven Duggar then bunted for a hit to put two men on, and though another bunt attempt, this time from Gerardo Parra, would result in a foul popout, Posey homered against the Pirates for the first time in his career to put his team up by a run.
It was his first round-tripper since Posey hit one against the Miami Marlins on June 19, 2018.
In the ninth, former Giants prospect Bryan Reynolds doubled into the right-field corner for his third hit of the day, but Duggar fielded the ball cleanly, threw to Joe Panik and the relay throw home easily beat Jung Ho Kang to give San Francisco (9-14) a one-run win.
Pittsburgh (12-7) originally took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a long two-run homer by Josh Bell, clearing the seats in right field. That was the only blemish against Rodriguez, who went 5 2/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Colin Moran in the sixth. Reyes Moronta took his place, and though he walked Bell, he struck out Francisco Cervelli to end the inning. Moronta took care of the seventh despite a bunt hit by Reynolds, Tony Watson continued to build his trade value with a 1-2-3 eighth and the defense helped Will Smith escaped the ninth. Smith walked Cervelli with one out, then got a force out from Kang before Reynolds sent his liner into the corner.
As for the Pirates’ pitching, Archer allowed the three runs on Posey’s homer over five innings of work and four relievers each threw a scoreless inning, with Nick Kingham keeping the hosts within a run by escaping the top of the ninth after a Pablo Sandoval pinch-hit double.