TONIGHT’S PITCHING MATCHUP… RHP Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65) is just 1-5 with a 4.40 ERA in his last seven outings…faced the Pirates earlier this season and took the loss, despite tossing a complete game…the Pirates won in the 9th inning after a review showed that Starling Marte was safe at home after he tripled and scored on an error… LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18) earned the win in his last outing against the Dodgers last Wednesday, as he threw 7.0 innings and allowed one earned run…Liriano is 1-1 with 7.20 ERA (8er, 10.0ip) in two career starts against the Giants.
INSIDE THE RACE… With last night’s loss, the Giants are now 2.0 games behind the first place Dodgers in the National League West, which is their largest deficit of the season.
SIX-GAME HOMESTAND CONTINUES TONIGHT… The Giants host the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight for the second game of this three-game series and the final set of this six-game home stand.
BETTER RECORD WHEN THEY HOMER… The Giants are 41-16 this season when they hit at least one HR and 16-33 when they fail to go deep…their .719 winning pct. in games when they homer is the highest in the NL.
BRANDON CRAWFORD… Is hitting .320 against LH pitching (14th-highest in NL).
MICHAEL MORSE… Is tied for ninth in the NL with 26 doubles and tied for 13th in extra base hits (41).
JOE PANIK… Sprained his right ankle last Tuesday at Philadelphia and missed two games.
JUST SCORE FIRST… SF is 42-12 when they score the game’s first run and 15-37 when they don’t score first… their .778 winning pct. when scoring first is the highest in the NL.
IN THE BULLPEN… SF relievers have combined to post a 1.60 ERA (7er, 39.1ip) in 11 games since the All-Star break.
HUNTER PENCE… Was named the Giants’ recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award.