The left fielder looks to stay hot and help the Pirates conclude this three-game series with a second straight victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.Marte is hitting .400 with four stolen bases over the past seven games. Two of his four hits in this series have gone for extra bases and he's scored three times.He did all of Pittsburgh's scoring in Tuesday's 2-1 win, but got some assistance from video review before the decisive run counted. Marte was initially ruled out at the plate after trying to score on an error at third following a two-out triple in the ninth, but replays showed his right hand touched the plate before catcher Buster Posey's tag."I know I was safe," he said. "It was just about waiting for the umpire to make the decision."Manager Clint Hurdle didn't mind Marte's gutsy decision to head home since the Pirates (13-20) had won only three times in their previous 12 games. They blew a six-run lead before falling 11-10 in 13 innings to the Giants (21-12) on Monday."It's an aggressive play," Hurdle said. "We continue to talk about being aggressive. We can't use the safety brakes."After its six-game winning streak ended, San Francisco is scheduled to give the ball to Tim Lincecum (2-1, 5.12 ERA), who has won his last two starts on the road while allowing four runs in 12 innings. The right-hander is coming off one of his better efforts, yielding one run in six innings of a 2-1 win at Atlanta on Friday."I was just trying to go with what (catcher Hector Sanchez) put down, trying to get into a good rhythm, and it turned out pretty good," Lincecum said. "I was just trying to attack the zone and make them be aggressive."Lincecum has been largely ineffective over his last two visits to Pittsburgh, losing both outings while being tagged for 10 runs and 14 hits in eight innings.The Pirates are expected to turn to Gerrit Cole (2-2, 3.69), who is seeking his first win in five starts. The second-year right-hander, however, isn't entirely to blame for going 0-2 with a 3.81 ERA over his last four outings. He's been backed by eight total runs over that stretch after getting 12 while winning his first two starts.The offense, though, bailed him out of his shortest outing in Friday's 6-5 win over Toronto. Cole surrendered four runs and seven hits with six strikeouts in five innings while being absolved of a losing decision thanks to the Pirates' three-run ninth."I wasn't executing a handful of pitches there," Cole said. "They beat me on some good pitches."Cole earned an 8-2 win in his only career meeting with the Giants on June 11, yielding two runs in 6 1/3 innings at PNC Park in his major league debut.He's held Brandon Belt hitless in three at-bats, but the first baseman is 9 for 24 (.375) with a pair of doubles over his last seven games against the Pirates. That includes three hits in this series after he had two on Tuesday.
Since the start of the 2009 season, Hunter Pence has a .203 batting average and .333 slugging percentage in at-bats ending with a pitch thrown at least 95 mph, both below league average (.243 and .361, respectively). Gerrit Cole's average fastball velocity since he came into the league is 95.8 mph.