The Pittsburgh Pirates seem to have put their road struggles behind them. On Friday they try to continue what has been a successful road trip when they play the second test of a four-game series versus the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Pittsburgh had lost eight of 10 on the road before taking two of three to start this seven-game trek in San Diego. The Pirates remained in the win column against San Francisco and maintained its one-game edge on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central on Thursday, as Jose Tabata's three-run double capped a seven-run fifth inning to carry Pittsburgh to a 10-5 win.
Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer belted solo homers off Matt Cain, who left with a contusion on his right forearm after he was hit by a line drive in the fourth inning.
Jeff Locke threw 73 pitches over the first four innings and was replaced by Jeanmar Gomez (3-0), who breezed through the ensuing three hitless innings in the opener of this four-game series.
"He maintained rhythm warming up. He maintained that posture," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of his decision to replace Locke with Gomez after the long seven-run top of the inning.
Marco Scutaro and pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford had two-run hits for the Giants, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Getting the call for the Pirates on Friday will be righty Charlie Morton, who is 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA. Morton did not get a decision on Sunday against Arizona, but pitched well, allowing two runs in seven innings of his team's 4-2 loss.
Morton lost to the Giants earlier in the year and is 2-4 in eight starts against them with a 3.12 ERA.
San Francisco, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Madison Bumgarner, who is 11-7 with a 2.82 ERA. Bumgarner did not get a decision in Miami on Sunday, as he allowed four runs (3 earned) and five hits with four walks in five innings of a 6-5 loss.
"It seemed like every pitch I threw (Sunday) was just a hair off and in the wrong direction,'' said Bumgarner. "It was just kind of frustrating for me."
Bumgarner has split two starts with the Pirates, despite giving up just one run in 13 innings of those outings.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the Giants earlier in the year.