Matt Capps has endured turbulent ninth innings in his past two outings. Last night, he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, but escaped unscathed to nail down his 20th save. A week earlier against Philly, Capps yielded five runs, including a pair of homers, and took the loss.
Anxious grumbling at the start of the ninth last ninth last night turned to outright boos, but Capps still got the job done against the Giants. This morning, manager John Russell gave his closer a vote of confidence: “People may say, ‘Aw, he struggled in the first half,’ but this guy is going to be out there for us in the ninth inning. He’s going to close a lot of games for us, and we have a lot of confidence in that. It’s tough to be perfect. He has the mental makeup to (close) and everybody expects him to be out there in the ninth. And he will be.”
• Lineups for tonight’s game:
GIANTS 1. Aaron Rowand cf, 2. Randy Winn lf, 3. Pablo Sandoval 3b, 4. Bengie Moilina c, 5. Nate Schierholtz rf, 6. Edgar Renteria ss, 7. John Bowker 1b, 8. Kevin Frandsen 2b, 9. Matt Cain (10-2, 2.38) rhp
PIRATES 1.Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 3. Garrett Jones lf, 4. Ryan Doumit c, 5. Adam LaRoche 1b, 6. Brandon Moss rf, 7. Andy LaRoche 3b, 8. Jack Wilson ss, 9. Zach Duke (8-8, 3.29) lhp