September 11, 2019 / 5:08 AM / 11 days ago

Giants' Cueto beats Pirates in return from elbow surgery

Johnny Cueto made a masterful return to the mound after a 13-month absence, and the San Francisco Giants narrowly avoided a second straight bullpen meltdown Tuesday night in a 5-4 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Sep 10, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; A general view of Oracle Park including a September 11 memorial before a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. Mandatory Credit: Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Vogt had a two-run single and a two-run home run to account for nearly all the San Francisco offense, helping the Giants end a two-game losing streak.

Cueto (1-0), pitching in the majors for the first time since July 28, 2018, demonstrated he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery by firing five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk.

He retired the side in four of his five innings, allowing only two baserunners — a single by Kevin Kramer and a walk to Kevin Newman, both in the third inning.

The 33-year-old struck out four and threw 69 pitches in running his career record against the Pirates to 21-4.

Vogt gave the veteran an early lead with his two-run single in the bottom of the first. Brandon Crawford added an RBI single later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.

Vogt’s homer, his ninth of the season, came against Pirates starter Mitch Keller (1-4) in the fifth inning and made it 5-0. The blast also scored Evan Longoria, who had singled.

Keller was pulled after five innings, having allowed all five Giants runs on nine hits. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.

The Giants appeared headed to a comfortable win until the Pirates erupted with two outs in the eighth.

Singles by Newman and Bryan Reynolds, followed by a two-run double from Melky Cabrera, narrowed the gap to 5-2. And when Josh Bell smacked his 37th home run of the season, a two-run shot, all of a sudden it was a one-run game.

But Shaun Anderson came on to get Jose Osuna to fly out, then pitched around a one-out walk to Jacob Stallings in the ninth for his first career save.

Mauricio Dubon and Kevin Pillar joined Vogt with two hits apiece for the Giants, who won for just the second time in five games this season against the Pirates.

San Francisco blew a late 4-2 lead in a 6-4 loss in the series opener Monday.

Reynolds had two hits for the Pirates, who were out-hit 9-7.

—Field Level Media

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