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Pirates 7, Giants 0

April 23, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Francisco Cordova pitched a five-hitter for Pittsburgh’s first complete game this season, and Jason Kendall drove in three runs off slumping Shawn Estes to beat San Francisco 7-0 Thursday.

Kendall had a two-run double in a four-run second inning and added a sacrifice fly as the Pirates won their second in a row after losing seven straight. The Giants went 1-5 on a road trip to Milwaukee and Pittsburgh and have won only once in seven games.

Cordova (3-1), emerging as Pittsburgh’s No. 1 starter, gave the Pirates’ overworked bullpen a lift by pitching their first complete game since Esteban Loaiza on Sept. 20 against St. Louis. It was the first time in nine games that a Pittsburgh starter has lasted even seven innings.

Cordova cruised, striking out eight and walking one. But Estes (0-4) _ 19-5 last year _ continued his season-long struggles. He gave up nine hits and seven runs, six earned, in 5 1-3 innings as his ERA climbed from 5.79 to 6.59.

Estes’ four-game losing streak is the first of his career. He has lasted as many as seven innings only once and has yielded at least three runs in every start.

Estes pitched out of a two-on, one-out situation in the first, but immediately got into trouble in the second by allowing Jermaine Allensworth’s single and walking Mark Smith, who is hitless in 18 at-bats.

Lou Collier, who has at least temporarily lost his shortstop’s job to Kevin Polcovich because of weak hitting, doubled in Allensworth. Estes then loaded the bases by hitting Polcovich and walking Turner Ward.

Kendall followed with his two-run double, making it 4-0.

Allensworth, who was 3-for-3, added an RBI single in the fourth.

Notes: The Giants have only two homers in their last seven games. ... Cordova’s last complete game was June 23, 1997, at Houston. ... Cordova has yet to allow a homer in his five starts. ... It was Cordova’s third career shutout.

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