San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman throws to the Chicago Cubs line up in the first inning of action at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sat Jun 5, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
SAN FRANCISCO-If Kevin Gausman is not scheduled to pitch on Sunday July 11 against the Washington Nationals, you can best believe that he will be on a plane heading to Coors Field to represent the San Francisco Giants in the All-Star Game.
Gausman showed once again why he is one of the surprising stories of the first half, as he went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned), giving up two hits, not walking a batter and striking out 10 and the Giants came back to defeat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 before a crowd of 12,792 at Oracle Park.
With the victory, Gausman raised his record to 7-0 on the season and lowered his earned run average down to 1.27.
The Giants are have now won 14 out of their last 19 games, including nine out of 11 and raise their record to 37-21, the best record in the majors.
With the victory, the Giants are now a game and a half ahead of the San Diego Padres, who are in second place and coupled with the Atlanta Braves win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park, the Giants are now three games ahead of the defending World Champions, who are in third place in the National League West.
Gausmans only mistake of the game came in the top of the second inning, as he gave up a two-run home run to Patrick Wisdom that came three batters after Anthony Rizzo reached on a fielding error by Brandon Crawford at shortstop.
The only other hit that Gausman gave up after that was to counterpart Kohl Stewart, who singled off of Gausman to lead off the top of the third inning and Stewart would be the baserunner that Gausman allowed to reach base.
Gausman then retired the next 15 batters in a row, that included eight of his 10 strikeouts on the afternoon against the Cubs.
Also of those 15 final outs, only three were to the outfield.
This was the third time this season that Gausman reached the double figure plateau, as he first reached it against the Miami Marlins on April 24 at Oracle Park, when he struck 11 and then on May 14, he struck out a season-high 12 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
After the Giants fell behind 2-0 in the top of the second inning, Alex Dickerson cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third inning. Dickerson lined an opposite field home run into the first row of the left field bleachers for his sixth home run of the season.
Chadwick Tromp tied up the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, as he hit an opposite field single to score Steven Duggar, who walked to lead off the inning with a walk. Following the Tromp single that tied up the game, Gausman laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that nearly past Wisdom, who grabbed it and threw to Javier Baez for the second out of the inning.
Lamonte Wade, Jr., gave the Giants the lead, as he an opposite field single to score Jason Vosler, who singled with one out in the inning and that was the end of the line for Stewart, who went three and two-thirds, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out five.
Crawford redeemed himself for that fielding error in the top of the second inning, as he doubled off the wall in right field to score Evan Longoria from first base. Longoria led off the inning with a walk off of Cubs reliever Dan Winkler.
Things got a little interesting in the top of the ninth inning, as the streak of retiring 18 in a row between Gausman and Jake McGee, who pitched the eighth inning and retired the side in order that included two strikeouts, as Rafael Ortega reached on a fielding error by Mauricio Dubon at second base.
Ortega was then retired on a force play at second base that was eventually reviewed by the umpires to see if Dubon held on to the throw from Crawford on the ball hit by Kris Bryant. The call was confirmed and Ortega was out for the first out of the inning.
Baez, who struck out in his three at-bats against Gausman finally broke through against Rogers, as he singled to centerfield to send Bryant to third base.
Following the Baez single, Rizzo reached on a fielding error by Longoria, when he collided with Crawford and Bryant scored easily from third base.
The collision between Crawford and Longoria was so powerful that Longoria fell to the ground and was down there for a few minutes before getting to his feet on his own power, but left the game and was replaced by Dubon, who moved to third base from second base and Donovan Solano came into the game at second base.
On a 3-2 pitch to Wilson Contreras, Rogers got him to swing at the pitch and missed for the second out of the inning.
With a chance to tie up the game or possibly take the lead, the Cubs pulled off a double steal that never saw a throw, as Baez and Rizzo stole second and third respectively.
Rogers was able to get Jason Heyward to ground out to Solano at second base for the final out of the game, and the Giants fans got to see the Giants victory flag raised on the right field foul pole, and hear Tony Bennett sing, I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
NOTES: Prior to the game, the Giants recalled Camilo Doval from Sacramento, and to make room for him on the roster, Scott Kazmir was designated for assignment.
Crawford moved within one game of tying Travis Jackson for the most games played at shortstop in team history. Jackson played in 1,325 games at shortstop while he was a member of the team from 1922-1936.
UP NEXT: Johnny Cueto (4-1, 3.45) heads to the mound for the Giants on Sunday afternoon, as they look for their four-game sweep of the Cubs since June 1-4, 2012, while the Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 4.62) will head to the hill for the Cubs.