Giants face Pirates after Bonds ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds will get his No. 25 retired by the San Francisco Giants in an on-field ceremony before Saturday night's important game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The teams have split the first two contests in the four-game series, allowing the Pirates (60-57) to retain a two-game lead over the Giants (58-59) as both fight an uphill battle in the chase for the two National League wild-card playoff berths.

Bonds, who led the Pirates into the postseason three times in his seven seasons with the club and helped the Giants into the playoffs seven times in his 15 seasons with them, will have both his former employers on hand for the honor that comes 11 years after he retired as the major leagues' all-time home run leader with 762.

Andrew McCutchen, another standout who has played for both the Pirates and Giants, began Friday's 13-10 San Francisco win with a leadoff home run, propelling the Giants to a season-high-tying run total.

He also walked four times in the game, giving him a homer and four walks in the same game for the first time in his career. Bonds accomplished the feat six times.

With most of the team's chief decision-makers in town for the Bonds ceremony, the Giants' brass held a closed-door meeting Friday in the wake of a 10-5 loss to the Pirates on Thursday that was the eighth in their last nine home games.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy noted afterward it was no big deal.

"We just talked about some things which we do three to four times a year," the veteran skipper said. "We talked about the club and ways we can get better."

Improved pitching would help. With the Pirates having scored 10 runs in each of the first two games of the series, the Giants will turn to former starter Ty Blach (6-6, 4.28 ERA) to duel Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams (9-8, 3.88).

Blach is scheduled to make his first start since May 27, having made his last 21 appearances out of the bullpen. He was the club's Opening Day starter as an injury replacement for Madison Bumgarner.

The left-hander has never faced the Pirates.

Williams will be facing the Giants for the third time in his career, having gone 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his first two meetings.

He held the Giants to one run and five hits in six innings in a 2-1 loss in his only previous start in San Francisco in 2017.

The 26-year-old California native has been on a nice roll of late, going 3-1 in his last four starts while allowing just two runs in 22 innings.

He will have to deal not only with McCutchen, but also with Buster Posey, who recorded a rare feat with four hits in the first four innings of Friday's win.

No Giant -- including Bonds -- ever previously had four hits in the first four innings of a game in the San Francisco era of the franchise. The last to record hits in four consecutive innings was Marvin Benard in innings 2-5 of a game at Philadelphia in 2000.
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