Wednesday was not a night to ask big-picture questions. Bench coach Ron Wotus managed the Giants' 12-8 loss to the Pirates in place of the suspended Bruce Bochy, and Wotus will not speak for the organization on critical topics, such as:

-- When is management going to admit that some of their journeymen relievers are not cutting it and give prospect Heath Hembree a look?

-- Should general manager Brian Sabean throw common sense to the wind and try to deal for pitching now, when the price would be astronomical?

-- How can they arrange the rotation so Barry Zito pitches only at home?

The last question is facetious, but heck, the Giants have to cringe every time he throws in a gray uniform. Zito fell to 0-4 with an 11.28 ERA in five road games after allowing eight runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Those run and hit totals were not even his worst of the year.

At home, Zito is 4-1, 1.94.

"I don't think it's a matter of 'this' at home and 'that' on the road," Zito said when pressed for an explanation. "It probably doesn't look like it, but it's just a coincidence. When I'm catching some breaks and throwing down in the zone, it happens to be at home."

The team fell to 12-20 on the road.

The offense dented Francisco Liriano's 1.75 ERA with four runs in six innings. Tony Abreu and Joaquin Arias, the replacements for Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval, combined for five hits, three runs and three RBIs.

But the top of Pittsburgh's order topped that. Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer and Andrew McCutchen were 8-for-9 with six runs against Zito alone.

Still, Zito might have survived the fifth inning with a 4-4 tie if not for a bizarre play.