July 19: Giants (49-41) @ Pirates (40-50)

I’m back from a few days off and will be on the beat all the way until Trade Deadline day so let’s all buckle in… Nothing much in terms of clubhouse news came out of the media’s daily meeting with John Russell, but here’s some stuff to chew on for those who need some early morning Bucs bits:

  • The Pirates enter Sunday’s game against the Giants having beaten SF 10 of the last 13 times the two teams have played. The Pirates have won five straight against the Giants here at PNC Park. However, it’s certainly worth noting that the Giants team the Pirates have beaten the last two days is a significant improvement over the club the team had assembled the last few years.
  • With his appearance on Saturday, John Grabow became the all-time career appearance leader at PNC Park. He has made 189 appearances here in the nine-year existence of the park.
  • When Zach Duke takes the mound later this afternoon, he’ll be handed the task of trying to keep the staff’s scoreless streak alive. Pirates pitchers have not allowed an earned run in their last 30 innings.
  • Go figure this one: Though the Pirates’ 40-50 record is ranked 13th in the NL, Pittsburgh actually has the fourth best home winning percentage (.585, 24-17).
  • After going 4-for-6 with two RBIs on Saturday, outfielder Lastings Milledge is now hitting .520 in seven games with Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • Indianapolis left-hander Tom Gorzelanny picked up another win and another quality start on Thursday, as he allowed just one earned run in six innings. Since returning to Triple-A, Gorzelanny is 3-2 with a 1.07 ERA in six starts.
  • Single-A shortstop Chase d’Arnaud will be out the rest of the season after spraining ligaments in his left thumb. D’Arnaud, a fourth-round selection in 2008, hit .279 in 19 games with high-A Lynchburg after hitting .291 in 62 games with low-A West Virginia, which is where he started the season.
  • Of Garrett Jones’ 16 hits with the Pirates, 11 have gone for extra bases.
  • First baseman Adam LaRoche is hitless in his last 21 at-bats and has just two hits in his last 36 at-bats. This is certainly an aberration from LaRoche’s usual July numbers. He is 4-for-46 this month after coming into the season a career .322 hitter in July.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Brandon Moss (LF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Giants lineup:

  1. Aaron Rowand (CF)
  2. Randy Winn (LF)
  3. Pablo Sandoval (3B)
  4. Bengie Molina (C)
  5. Nate Schierholtz (RF)
  6. Edgar Renteria (SS)
  7. John Bowker (1B)
  8. Kevin Frandsen (2B)
  9. Matt Cain (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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