San Francisco Giants Wilmer Flores (41) gets congratulations from teammate Austin Slater (13) after hitting and scoring on his three run home run in the first inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco Fri Aug 13, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
SAN FRANCISCO-Wilmer Flores came up with the biggest hit of the night for the San Francisco Giants.
Flores hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, helping the Giants to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies before a crowd of 36,126 at Oracle Park, for the Giants sixth win in a row.
With the victory, the Giants now have 75 wins on the season, and this is just the second time since the Giants moved to California in 1958 that they have 75 wins thru their first 116 games of the season. The last time they did it was in 1993, when they won 103 games and finished in second place in the National League West, one game behind the Atlanta Braves.
Austin Slater led off the bottom of the inning with a double, after a flyout by Kris Bryant, Buster Posey walked and then after a Darin Ruf flyout for the second out of the inning, Flores then launched his 15th home run of the season into the left field bleachers to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.
Thairo Estrada then got in on the act, as he singled in Donovan Solano, who followed Flores by walking and then Mike Yastrzemski then singled to advance Solano to second, who then scored on the Estrada single to give the Giants a 4-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
Anthony DeSclafani pitched the first five innings for the Giants, as he allowed two runs on two hits, walking two and striking out four. It was the 11th win of the season for DeSclafani against five losses.
Over the final four innings of the game, Gabe Kapler turned the ball over to his bullpen and the quartet of Jay Jackson, Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers, Jake McGee and Zack Littell preserved the win over the Rockies.
Austin Gomber went four innings for the Rockies, as he allowed five runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out two, as he saw his record fall to 9-7 on the season.
The Rockies got on the board in the top of the second inning, as Sam Hilliard walked with one out, then Garrett Hampson singled Hilliard to third and then Gomber helped out his own cause, as he dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt that allowed Hilliard to easily score from third base.
After the Giants batted around in the bottom of the first inning, Austin Slater led off the inning by doubling and he then scored the Giants fifth and final run of the inning, when he scored on a Ruf single off of Gomber.
CJ Cron drove in what proved to be the final run of the game for either team in the top of the third inning, as he singled off of DeSclafani to score Ryan McMahon, who walked to lead off the inning.
McMahon then singled in the top of the fifth inning, as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games, a new career high.
After going 0-for-3 in his first three at-bats on the evening, Bryant ended up picking up two hits in his final two at-bats.
Slater continues to hit the ball well, as he went 3-for-5 on the evening with two runs scored and Flores also picked up two hits and three runs batted in for the Giants, who maintain their five-game lead in the National League West over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won earlier over the New York Mets 6-5 at Citi Field on a two-run home run by Will Smith off of Jeurys Familia in the top of the 10th inning.
The San Diego Padres lost on a Daulton Varsho walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 3-2 at Chase Field. With the loss, the Padres are now 10 games behind the Giants in the National League West and are now five games behind the Dodgers in the Wild Card race and only 2.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card spot.
Former Giants outfielder Connor Joe got the Rockies within one run in the top of the ninth inning, as he hit a two-run home run off of McGee; however, McGee was able to get pinch-hitter Trevor Story to ground out to Flores at first base for the second out. Brendan Rogers then extended the game, as he singled off the right field wall, Charlie Blackmon then singled up the middle just moments after he barely missed hitting what would have given the Rockies a 6-5 lead.
Zack Littell came on to replace McGee and he was able to close it out with a strikeout of Cron to end the game.
NOTES: Brandon Crawford and the Giants agreed to terms on a two-year extension that will have the Bay Area native in a Giants uniform through the 2023 season.
Prior to the game, the Giants activated DeSclafani from the 10-day injured list, while Camilo Doval was optioned to Sacramento and Aaron Sanchez was placed on unconditional release waivers.
This was the 39th home win of the season for the Giants, as they are now 39-17 at home, good enough for the best home record in the major leagues.
The Flores home run in the bottom of the first inning was the Giants 60th home run of the season with two outs.
With the 7-0 shutout of the Rockies on Thursday night, the Giants now have 13 shutouts, tying them with the Milwaukee Brewers for the most in the Major Leagues.
On the other side of things, the Rockies were shutout for the 15th time in the 7-0 loss in the series opener and it is most times that they have been shutout in a season. In their inaugural season of 1993, they were shutout 13 times during the entire season.
UP NEXT: While the Giants have yet to announce a starter, the Rockies will send Jon Gray to the mound in search of his eighth win of the season.