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Apr 28, 2024 9:26 am

Pirates vie for series win in rubber match vs. Giants

San Francisco Giants

Rookie right-handers off to impressive starts hope to continue rolling at the other’s expense when Jared Jones and the Pittsburgh Pirates face Keaton Winn and the host San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Runs have been at a premium until the final inning in the first two games of the series. The Giants did all their scoring in the bottom of the ninth of a 3-0 win Friday before the Pirates outscored the hosts in the 10th in a 4-3 triumph Saturday.

A California native who has never pitched a major league game west of Pittsburgh, Jones (2-2, 2.79 ERA) will be making his sixth career start, his fourth on the road.

Jones, a second-round draft pick out of high school in 2020, has yet to allow more than three runs in any start. He’s coming off his two best, allowing a total of one run and five hits in 11 innings against the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers.

Jones, who stands 6-foot-1, has drawn comparison to — of all people — 5-foot-6 Houston Astros star Jose Altuve.

“He’s something that you don’t see,” veteran teammate Andrew McCutchen said. “He’s not a very big guy. That kind of plays for him. I was kinda comparing him to Jose Altuve. Jose Altuve isn’t a very big guy. You watch him play, he hits a ball 430 feet. How’d he do that? Jonesy is kinda the same way.”

Jones will be facing a Giants team that has struggled to score runs at home this season. In going 8-7 at home, San Francisco already has been held to three or fewer runs 10 times.

Jorge Soler belted a 433-foot homer in the 10th inning Saturday. Giants manager Bob Melvin knows his team’s new slugger can be streaky.

“All it takes sometimes is a couple of good swings, and that was a really good swing,” Melvin said. “He’s going to have a big say in how we do, the production that we get. He’s got a huge track record of driving in runs and hitting balls like he did.”

Like the Giants at home, the Pirates haven’t done much offensively on the road since opening the season with a four-game sweep at Miami.

They have totaled just nine runs in their last five road games, three of which came via home runs by Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes in the 10th inning Saturday.

Pittsburgh had lost its previous four road outings.

Hoping to take advantage will be Winn (2-3, 3.54), who has never faced the Pirates in 14 career appearances.

The 26-year-old has overcome an 0-3 start with a pair of winning efforts, limiting the Miami Marlins and Mets each to one run and four hits over six innings.

Giants starters Kyle Harrison and Jordan Hicks have held the Pirates to 10 hits and one run in 12 innings in the first two games of the series. San Francisco has only a split to show for it as the hosts have been stymied to a similar extent by Pittsburgh’s Quinn Priester and Martin Perez, who surrendered only seven hits and one unearned run in their 12 innings.

–Field Level Media

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