AT&T Park — The applause began as soon as Ryan Vogelsong emerged from the visitor’s dugout on Monday night.
By the time the right-hander had reached the mound and thrown his first warmup pitch, a montage of his greatest moments as a San Francisco Giant was playing across the video board in center field and the entire stadium was on its feet, giving the 2012 and 2014 World Series winner a standing ovation
“The crowd gave him a nice hand — a well-deserved nice hand,” manager Bruce Bochy said after his club lost 8-5. “He did a lot of good things here and Vogey pitched a good ballgame.”
Vogelsong pitched well enough to overshadow an underwhelming home debut from Matt Moore, as the Giants dropped to 9-19 since the All-Star break.
Staked to a 2-0 advantage, Moore pitched himself into a jam in the fourth. After allowing three consecutive one-out hits, the left-hander walked in Francisco Cervelli on four pitches to gift the Pittsburgh Pirates their first run.
The walk was one of three Moore issued on the night and his 14th in 18 innings as a Giant.
“That’s an area I’m sure he’ll tell you he’d like to cut back a little bit,” Bochy said.
The Pirates would grab two more runs — and a 3-2 lead — courtesy of Gregory Polanco, who served a soft single into right field.
If not for Hunter Pence, the damage could have been worse. As the right-fielder chased a foul fly ball into the bullpen, Pence stumbled over the mound, but still managed to make the catch as he lay on his back.
“I’ll be honest. I’ve seen him do some athletic, acrobatic catches out there,” Bochy said when asked if he thought Pence would make the play. “And I’m not surprised. That’s who he is.”
After the Pirates had pushed their advantage to 7-4, one of the Giants’ best chances to get back in the contest came in the bottom of the seventh.
With two outs and runners on second and third, Eduardo Nunez lined what appeared to be a two-run single into the left-center field gap.
Andrew McCutchen had different plans, going full extension to snag the drive right before it hit the grass.
“I thought the ball was going to fall in and it didn’t,” Bochy said. “Nunez threw out a pretty good at bat there and he made a great play on it. We’re right back in the game and so that definitely changed things.”