National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 15th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (2-6) at San Francisco Giants (4-4), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Kevin Correia (0-0, 1.50) San Francisco - Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - After going from being out of the majors for four years to an All-Star last season, returning from a back injury should be no problem for Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Vogelsong makes his season debut this afternoon for San Francisco with a chance to pitch his club to a three-game sweep of the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 34-year-old Vogelsong began his career with a few appearances with the Giants before moving to the Pirates during the 2001 season. He was with Pittsburgh through 2006 and went just 10-19 with a 6.00 earned run average in 103 games (33 starts) with the club and was then out of the majors until joining the Giants early last season due to an injury to Barry Zito.
Vogelsong then went on to post an All-Star campaign, going 13-7 with a 2.71 earned run average in 30 games, all but two of those starts. The right- hander's 2012 start was delayed due to a back issue and he went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA with 12 strikeouts in two rehab starts with Triple-A Fresno.
He faced the Pirates for the first two times in his career last season and split a pair of decisions while posting a 5.91 ERA.
Should the Giants keep it close with the Pirates today, they will be without closer Brian Wilson, who appears headed towards season-ending Tommy John surgery due to structural issues with his right elbow.
San Francisco didn't need Wilson on Saturday, picking up a ninth-inning 4-3 victory when Emmanuel Burriss scored the winning run on an errant throw to the plate.
Burriss singled to start the ninth against Chris Resop and pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot singled to put runners on the corners. Angel Pagan was intentionally walked to load the bases with nobody out. Melky Cabrera then hit a grounder to shortstop Clint Barmes, who delivered a low throw to the plate that wasn't handled cleanly by catcher Rod Barajas.
"You throw to your target, and I didn't make a good throw," Barmes admitted. "It was hit hard enough, where I catch it and give it to Rod, we've got two outs. At that point, we've got a great chance at getting out of it."
While the Giants have won three straight and four of five following an 0-3 start, the Pirates have lost five straight.
Charlie Morton, who started the season on the disabled list while recovering from left hip surgery, allowed seven hits and three runs over five innings for the Pirates.
Giants starter Barry Zito gave up six hits and three runs -- two earned -- over seven frames after notching a shutout in his season debut.
"We did have some good things happen on defense, but we made mistakes," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I think it's only going to get better. We're going to be a better defensive ball club than we were last year."
Neil Walker singled in two runs in the first inning for the Pirates, but the Giants got those back in the second on a Nate Schierholtz RBI triple and a single from Burriss.
The Pirates have the right man in the right place in an effort to avoid the sweep with road warrior Kevin Correia set to take the hill.
Correia, a former Giant, went 10-3 with a 2.64 ERA ion 14 road starts last season and began 2012 away from Pittsburgh. He pitched well in a no-decision at the Dodgers, giving up one run on four hits and two walks over six innings of a game his club lost 2-1.
The 31-year-old right was a fourth round pick of the Giants in 2002 and pitched with the club from 2003-08. He is 8-9 with a 4.60 ERA in 81 career games at AT&T Park and 1-1 with a 3.67 ERA in his career versus the Giants.
These two clubs split their six meetings a season ago, with the Giants winning two of three at home. San Francisco has won 10 of its past 13 at home versus Pittsburgh.
On this the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier Major League Baseball is commemorating this special occasion by having all players and on-field personnel once again wear the Hall of Famer's No. 42 in addition to other pregame festivities.
04/15 10:33:52 ET