By Morris Phillips
SAN FRANCISCO–Winning formulas never get old, so the Giants reached in the well one more time.
Beating sub .500 teams at home with offense has become a reoccurring theme for San Francisco, and it surfaced again Wednesday night in a 7-2 win over the Rockies. The Giants have won 15 of 19 at Oracle Park with most of the wins just like this one.
Mauricio Dubon hit a three-run homer in the seventh to break up a 2-2 tie, and send the Giants to a second win in this critical four-game series starting the regular season’s final week. With the Cardinals, Marlins and Brewers losing in the tightly-bunched NL playoff hunt, the Giants assumed the eighth and final spot with five games remaining.
“You’re playing meaningful baseball and every hit, every run, every home run, every catch you make counts,” Dubon said. “That’s the fun part of it.”
Dubon’s game-altering shot came two pitches after manager Bud Black lifted starter Ryan Castellani in the fifth, in which he allowed a leadoff double to Alex Dickerson, then walked two of the next four batters, allowing the Giants to tie the score, 2-2.
Yency Almonte relieved and watched Dubon send his slider over the left field wall. Dubon’s was the biggest of the Giants 11 hits, five of which went for extra bases including Evan Longoria’s solo shot that got the Giants on the board for the first time in the fourth.
“The pitch to Dubón was a slider the just didn’t get to the outside part of the plate,” Black said. “It didn’t get away from the barrel. The kid dropped the head on it, got it up in the air. He squared it up.”
The Giants have had their way with losing clubs, winning 22 of 33. They’re 27-11 when they score at least four runs.
Mike Yastrzemski continues to mend his calf, which has caused to miss the last five games. His primary replacement, rookie Luis Basabe injured his hamstring on Tuesday, and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season and at least two rounds of the playoffs. Steven Duggar was summoned from Sacramento to replace Basabe.
Caleb Baragar started for the Giants, pitching just the first inning as the opener. Logan Webb took over in the second and pitched five, solid innings to get the win. Baragar’s appearance marked the first time the Giants have employed an opener this season, after Bruce Bochy employed the strategy a couple of times in 2019.