Giants unable to solve Morton in 4-0 loss to Pirates

Jake Peavy entered his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates having never allowed a run over 20 innings in three starts at PNC Park.

That streak ended before Peavy could pitch one full inning.

Meanwhile, Charlie Morton combined with two relievers on a six-hitter, Neil Walker hit a two-run home run and the Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Thursday night.

"We just couldn't generate any offense," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Their guy was just really good. He had movement on his fastball and a good curveball. We just couldn't get much going."

Morton (8-4) scattered four hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking two. He was pulled in the seventh inning with a four-run lead after theGiants loaded the bases with two outs.

"His curveball was really good," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "It has so much tilt and depth on it, and there's enough fastball that you can't sit on the curve. It makes it a challenge to square him up."

Jared Hughes entered and left a 3-2 offering to Gregor Blanco over the plate, who hit a sharp liner to right field. But the drive was right at Gregory Polanco, who ended the Giants' only substantial scoring threat.

"Blanco hit the ball hard and it's a different game if we find the gap with that," Bochy said. "It didn't play out."

Peavy hit Starling Marte with one out in the first and Aramis Ramirez doubled him home for a 1-0 lead. Pittsburgh added another on Jung Ho Kang's RBI double in the third.

Walker hit his 13th home run in the sixth to push the Pirates' lead to 4-0.

"Aramis' ball sneaks in and you know, the third inning, I just couldn't make a pitch to get out of that inning," Peavy said. "Obviously giving up the homer there in the sixth put us behind the eight-ball there."

Peavy (3-6) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.

"It was a 2-0 ballgame going into the sixth," Bochy said. "That's not bad. ...Overall, I thought he threw alright."

Walker, Kang and Starling Marte each had two hits.

The Pirates (72-45) moved a season-high 25 games over .500 with their seventh win in eight games, pulling within 4 1/2 games of the idle St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

The Giants dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were off, in the NL West.


Giants: RF Hunter Pence (strained left oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game, retroactive to Monday, and LF Nori Aoki was activated from the 7-day concussion DL and went 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. ... 2B Joe Panik (lower back inflammation) has started participating in baseball activities at the Giants' spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., and will be examined by team doctors next Tuesday when the Giants begin their next homestand.

Pirates: 3B Josh Harrison (torn left wrist ligament) and SS Jordy Mercer (sprained left knee) could return from the disabled list sometime during the four-game series that ends Sunday, according to Hurdle. ... 1B/OF Corey Hart (left shoulder impingement/right knee discomfort) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis.


The Giants acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade and he is expected to be in uniform for Friday night's game. The Giants hope Byrd will bolster and outfield also missing center fielder Angel Pagan, who is on the DL with right knee tendinitis.

"I think Marlon's going to help," Peavy said. "He's got some experience and he's played in pennant races. We're excited. I think he can certainly at a time we're banged up."

The 37-year-old Byrd hit .237 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 96 games for the Reds.


Giants: SS Brandon Crawford's career-best 13-game hitting streak ended as he went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Pirates: LF Marte ran his hitting streak to five games by going 2 for 3 ... Morton has not allowed a home run to the Giants in his last eight starts and 51 1/3 innings.


Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (14-6, 2.98 ERA) will start Friday night, pitching in Pittsburgh for the first time since throwing a four-hit shutout in last year's NL wild card playoff game.

Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (6-7, 4.31 ERA) is 1-3 with a 4.70 ERA in his last seven starts.