Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Pittsburgh at San Francisco
When: 9:05 PM ET, Saturday, August 11, 2018
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

Stuck in neutral for much of the season, the San Francisco Giants are running out of time to make a postseason push. Currently seven games out of a National League wild-card spot, the Giants are hoping to build on a rare offensive outburst when they continue their four-game series on Saturday against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

San Francisco collected 16 hits and snapped a three-game losing streak with Friday’s 13-10 victory as Buster Posey went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Alen Hanson added three hits and drove in three runs. Andrew McCutchen delivered a solo homer against his former team, but the Giants received a scare when Evan Longoria exited in the seventh inning after being hit by a pitch on his left shoulder. Pittsburgh saw its three-game winning streak come to an end and fell five games back in the NL wild-card race despite recording 17 hits, including a grand slam by Francisco Cervelli, who finished with three hits and five RBIs. Josh Bell added three hits and new arrival Adeiny Hechavarria went 2-for-2 with a solo homer in his second game with the Pirates.

TV: 9:05 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, NBCS Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Trevor Williams (9-8, 3.88 ERA) vs. Giants LH Ty Blach (6-6, 4.28)

Williams had his streak of 21 1/3 innings without allowing a run come to an end last Sunday, when he gave up two runs over five innings in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis. “He got them to put the ball in play and forced soft contact,” manager Clint Hurdle told reporters. “I thought he pitched a really good ballgame.” The 26-year-old native of San Diego made two starts against the Giants last season, posting a 2.25 ERA across 12 innings.

Blach will move from the bullpen to make a spot start as manager Bruce Bochy looks to give his rotation an extra day of rest. The 27-year-old native of Colorado started on Opening Day in place of an injured Madison Bumgarner and has appeared in 33 games this season, including 12 starts. Blach, who is facing Pittsburgh for the first time, owns a 3.70 ERA in 14 road games (six starts) compared to a 4.89 mark in 19 home games (six starts).

WALK-OFFS

1. San Francisco 1B Brandon Belt (knee) will begin his minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday.

2. Pirates 3B David Freese is 28-for-77 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 26 games.

3. The Giants purchased the contract of Casey Kelly from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned fellow RHP Derek Law to the River Cats.

PREDICTION: Pirates 6, Giants 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Pittsburgh 60-57 L1 33-29 27-28 9-15 28-19 11-20 12-3
San Francisco 58-59 W1 33-25 25-34 13-10 10-12 29-26 6-11
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh San Francisco
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/10/18 PIT 10 SF 13 .386 2 1.049 .410 1 1.139
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh F. Cervelli .429 6 1.484
San Francisco A. Hanson .438 7 1.312
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh J. Bell 2 5 4
San Francisco A. McCutchen 1 5 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 5.52 .330 41
San Francisco 6.70 .295 43
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh C. Dickerson .311 115 .841
San Francisco B. Posey .296 107 .772
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh G. Polanco 19 65 65
San Francisco B. Belt 14 44 43
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 4.24 .256 941
San Francisco 4.01 .251 912