Byrd, MadBum jacks power Giants past Pirates

Byrd, MadBum jacks power Giants past Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Madison Bumgarner recovered from a shaky beginning on Friday night to not only pitch into the seventh, but he again got double-billing as the hitting star of a 6-4 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park.

Bumgarner's two-run homer in the second -- his San Francisco pitchers-record fifth of the season -- accounted for the winning run. Also making a huge contribution was the newest Giant, Marlon Byrd, who hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat and finished 3-for-5 in his debut, falling a triple shy of the cycle.

Lefty Jeff Locke absorbed most of the Giants' damage, allowing a career-high 11 hits in five innings, including two-run blows by Byrd in the first and by Bumgarner in the second. Bumgarner broke his own 2014 record of four homers by a San Francisco pitcher and became the first hurler with that many in a season since Carlos Zambrano went yard six times for the 2006 Cubs. On the mound, the lefty retired 14 straight before the Bucs chased him with one out in the seventh, and allowed six hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Bumgarner strikes out six

"It was poor. Really poor. I just never settled in," Locke said. "That's an aggressive lineup, and they found a lot of holes."

Byrd's blow was a familiar sight for the Pirates, who had traded for him under similar circumstances on Aug. 26, 2013, with similar results: He hit a three-run homer in his first game with the Bucs, a three-run blow against Milwaukee at PNC Park.

"He's hit the ball all over the park -- and out of the park against us," manager Clint Hurdle said of Byrd, who has six homers and 14 RBIs this season against Pittsburgh in 14 games, the first 13 with the Reds.

"I'm sure he wanted to make a good first impression," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "and he did more than that."

Bumgarner bomb: Bumgarner ended up driving in the winning run with his second-inning homer, and it wasn't just his swing that was impressive -- the pitcher worked a nice at-bat, too. Bumgarner smartly laid off three fastballs to finagle a 3-0 count. He laid off another fastball, which was a strike, but pounced on Locke's 82-mph curveball and sent it to into the left-field seats. More >

Bumgarner's two-run smash

"Go look at where the pitch was. You throw there a lot, it will get hit a lot. The rest of the night, he was swinging differently," said Hurdle, alluding to three other at-bats in which Bumgarner did not get the ball out of the infield.

Bumgarner's new teammate was impressed.

"Oh my gosh, that homer, it was loud," Byrd said. "He can swing it. It's like having nine hitters up there when he's pitching."

One shot, and it missed: The Pirates' best shot at surviving Bumgarner's early lead expired with the man who had given it up. With two on and none out in the second, Bumgarner fell behind Locke, 3-0. Locke took two strikes before bunting through a third strike. The Bucs did score once in the inning on a fielder's choice, but missed out on a bigger inning. Starting with that fielder's choice, Bumgarner retired 14 straight. More >

Marte's RBI fielder's choice

"I heard about that. I don't even know what uniforms they are. It just means I've been around for a long time." -- Byrd, on hitting a home run with five different teams at PNC Park

Byrd shines in Giants' debut

"I know he swings hard. He's the kind of guy you'd like to see in the Home Run Derby." -- Locke, asked how differently he has to approach Bumgarner than other pitchers

In their respective Friday night starts, Houston's Mike Fiers started off 63 percent (19-of-30) of the batters he faced with strikes, and Locke began 77 percent (20-of-26) of his batters with strikes. Fiers pitched a no-hitter. Locke allowed 11 hits and six runs in five innings.

Giants: Right-hander Mike Leake (9-6, 3.52 ERA) will make the start on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT, his first since landing on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Pirates: Ace Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.61) gets the ball on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET for the third of this four-game set at PNC Park.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.