Start Fast, Make It Last: Two innings of fireworks carry the Giants past the Mets, 9-3

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–This Giant lead didn’t precede one of the most confounding, wildest finishes a baseball imagination could conjure up. This giant lead–9-0 Giants after two innings–led seamlessly to a satisfying end to the home stand for a team trying to navigate successfully despite numerous personnel issues.

Mets rookie Thomas Szapucki was the undisputed victim in seeing four of his 49 pitches leave the park, all with 100 mph plus velocities. Evan Longoria was the biggest beneficiary with his first two homers of the season. The Giants survived on Tuesday, winning 12-11 to end a five-game skid. On Wednesday, they built a win streak powered by their early, rapid-fire home runs.

“I knew it was going to take a little bit of time to settle in,” Longoria said. “I was hoping it would happen sooner and quicker, but it’s a long season. I’ve been making some hard contact that hasn’t landed, so just trying to build off those at-bats and keep moving forward.”

Longoria’s three-run blast in the first comfortably cleared the center field wall, and was followed in short order by Joc Pederson’s two-run shot that was his fourth big blast in less than 24 hours.

The second inning went straight to fireworks with Wilmer Flores’ RBI double followed by back-to-back shots by Yastrzemski and Longoria. Longoria’s ended Szapucki’s afternoon, and peculiarly ended the Giants’ offense for the day.

Jakob Junis pitched six innings for the Giants, allowing three hits and single runs in the second and sixth. Junis, thought to be a stop gap has instead been a rock, throwing at least five innings in all six of his starts.

“If he does nothing else, he’s already helped us win several baseball games,” manager Gabe Kapler said of Junis. “I think we envisioned that he would come up and make very important starts for us. So he’s doing what we expected him to do, but he’s done it in a more sustained fashion.”

The Giants played without Brandon Crawford, who got a much-deserved day of rest. They are still without Brandon Belt, LaMonte Wade Jr., Austin Slater, Curt Casali and Steven Duggar making the win and the salvaged home stand that much sweeter.

“It’s huge,” Pederson said. “We built on the momentum from last night. That’s a World Series-caliber team.”

The Giants open a nine-game trip in Cincinnati on Friday night with first pitch 3:40 pm PDT. Carlos Rodon (4-3, 3.43) will pitch in that one while Cincinnati hasn’t yet announced a starter.

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