Instant Replay: Giants 4, Pirates 3

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Instant Replay: Giants 4, Pirates 3

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Before the game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Freddy Sanchez is close to a rehab start. Emmanuel Burriss isn't ready. Burriss led off the bottom of the ninth inning and slapped a solid base hit to right field on the first pitch he saw, spurring the Giants' walk-off rally.

Brandon Belt, who was in the on-deck circle, was called back and veteran Ryan Theriot was sent out to sacrifice Burriss over. Only he failed to do so, worked an eight pitch at-bat and executed a textbook hit-and-run to get Burriss to third base.

After Angel Pagan was intentionally walked, the Giants' hottest hitter Melky Cabrera came to the plate. Cabrera, 0-for-3 on the night, wouldn't get his first hit of the night, but he would win the game. Shortstop Clint Barmes' throw home short-hopped Rod Barajas, who could not coral it, allowing the winning run to score.

Starting pitching report: The Pirates made sure there would be no back-to-back shutouts for Barry Zito early. With two outs in the first inning, Andrew McCutchen roped a single into left field. Casey McGehee's bloop single and a walk to Rod Barajas brought Neil Walker to the plate. Walker delivered a two-run base hit to open the Game 2 scoring.

Zito settled down, though, going three-up-three-down in the second and third.

He was tagged with an unearned run in the fifth inning on a forgettable defensive play for the Giants.

With his pitch total at 97 after six innings and the top of the order coming up in the seventh, Zito's night looked to be done. But he emerged from the dugout in the seventh, induced a first pitch fly-out, struck out Tabata and got Andrew McCutchen to fly out to end the seventh. It sent the AT&T Crowd into a frenzy, and Zito didn't so much as raise his head walking back into the dugout.

Bullpen report: Santiago Casilla entered the game in the eighth inning. Zito's final pitch -- a cutter -- came in at 80 miles per hour. Casilla's first pitch registered a 95 on the gun, and a decidedly different sound entering Hector Sanchez's glove.

Casilla and Javier Lopez were dominant, allowing one hit in two innings of work.

With the bats: The Giants came out swinging in the second. Four consecutive hits from Hector Sanchez, Nate Schierholtz, Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss plated two and tied the game.

Schierholtz's opposite-field triple was scorched. It got to the wall in a hurry and gave Sanchez enough time to lumber in to score all the way from first.

His chest's rise and fall was clearly visible as he removed his helmet, stuck out his tongue, and headed for the dugout for congratulations.

Sanchez led the rally off with a base hit. He has hit safely in each of the three games he's played in this year.

In the bottom of the fifth, Angel Pagan got his first AT&T Park triple. It was a three-bagger all the way as his drive landed right in Triple's Alley. Third-base coach Tim Flannery contemplated sending Pagan home for more than one arm circle.

With the gloves: The Giants suffered their second two-error play of the season. With one on and one away in the fifth inning, Jose Tabata hit a slow bouncer to third. Pablo Sandocal charged, but didn't get his glove down and the ball rolled into shallow left field. Brandon Crawford tracked it down and threw off balance to second. The throw was off line and ended up in the no-man's land in the middle of the infield, allowing Alex Presley to score the then-go-ahead run.

In stark contrast, Crawford ended the inning by ranging far to his left to vacuum a ground ball up the middle, spinning and firing to first to retire Casey McGehee and prevent a fourth Pittsburgh run.

Sandoval again erred in the sixth inning, bringing his error total to three after going all of last year with just 10.

Crawford drew the crowd's applause again in the eighth when he bare-handed McGehee's chop over the pitcher's mound and threw on the run in time to record the first out.

Attendance: It was the 86th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park with an announced attendance of 41,657. Nobody left early and they were loud at all the right times.

On deck: The Giants and Pirates are scheduled to play the third and final game of the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. It's an interesting pitching matchup. Ryan Vogelsong returns from a strained back to make his first start of the season. It's a familiar face that will be opposing him; former Giant and 2011 All-Star Kevin Correia gets the nod in Game 3 for the Pirates.

Odds and ends: Barry Zito will perform at The Fillmore Sunday night, helping Train with "Save Me San Francisco." ... 49ers QB Alex Smith was at AT&T Park Saturday night, sitting in Row 1 next to the Giants' dugout.

Before the game, Matt Cain presented Smith with a jersey signed by members of the Giants.

Krukow responds to report about Melancon: 'I don't see any friction'

Krukow responds to report about Melancon: 'I don't see any friction'

With the Giants sitting in last place, everyone wants to figure out what happened to a team that was expected to contend.

Early Monday morning, it was reported that new closer Mark Melancon had rubbed some teammates the wrong way by canceling a longstanding pregame stretching session among relievers.

A short time later, Giants broadcast Mike Krukow was asked for his take on KNBR 680.

"We all understand closers are different people and they deal with different demons and some of them have their own routine. I haven't heard that its upset anybody," Krukow said.

Krukow believes everything is just fine between Melancon and his teammates.

"If you look at how Melancon is in line to get on the plane and get off the plane, he's having fun, he's laughing with the guys. Same thing on the bus. He's walking to the ballpark before games with guys. They're buddies. I don't see any friction. I don't see that rotten core starting to fester in the club at all," Krukow said.

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

This past offseason, the Giants overhauled the back of their bullpen. Out went mainstays Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. In came prized free agent Mark Melancon.

It was supposed to be a seamless transition for one of the most reliable closers in baseball.

But nearly three months in, Melancon is one of many Giants players struggling while the team flounders in last place in the NL West with a 27-51 record.

And it appears Melancon's relationship with his new teammates didn't get off to a great start.

Melancon "rubbed some teammates the wrong way early in the season" by canceling a longstanding pregame stretching session with the other relievers that was implemented long before he joined the team, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

That's not the only stretching-related issue to impact the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy had to get involved when several veterans were reportedly late on multiple occasions for the team stretching session.

“I dropped the ball. I’ve been doing this so long, you take for granted that they know what I want. These guys were used to doing it how they’ve done it — ‘I have my own routine. I’m not going to stretch.’ But we do stretch as a team here. They all have to be out there,” Bochy said.

Closers are known to have unique routines and Bochy addressed that as well.

“Sometimes other relievers … maybe they get a little taken aback by it. I don’t know what (closer) doesn’t have a routine like that,” Bochy said.

General Manager Bobby Evans addressed the claim that Melancon is rubbing teammates the wrong way and defended his closer's role in the clubhouse.

“To whatever degree it hasn’t manifested itself or to the extent it’s manifested itself in the perception of some negatively, I can assure you that was not Mark’s intention. Mark is a team guy,” Evans said.

Melancon, who has a 4.58 ERA and 11 saves in 15 chances this season, has three years and $53 million left on his contract with the Giants.