Acquired to provide some power with Hunter Pence on the disabled list with an oblique strain, Marlon Byrd came as advertised in his debut with the Giants on Friday, going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer as part of a 6-4 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park.
Byrd also singled and doubled. His two-run blast was part of a three-run first inning against Jeff Locke. The Giants added two more runs in the second inning on a long home run from Madison Bumgarner. He has gone deep in back-to-back starts and now has five home runs on the season.
Bumgarner struck out six while allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings to secure the victory. He’s now 15-6 with a 3.02 ERA on the year.
The Giants sit 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the National League West and four games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot. They’ll welcome Mike Leake back from the disabled list to pitch against Pirates ace Gerrit Cole this afternoon.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Braves 3, Cubs 5
Twins 4, Orioles 3
Indians 7, Yankees 3
Brewers 10, Nationals 3
Rangers 2, Tigers 0
Giants 6, Pirates 4
Royals 2, Red Sox 7
Diamondbacks 6, Reds 3
Blue Jays 9, Angels 3
Dodgers 0, Astros 3
Phillies 7, Marlins 1
Rays 2, Athletics 1
Mets 14, Rockies 9
White Sox 11, Mariners 4
Cardinals 3, Padres 9
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.