Playoff Push: Dubon’s homer gives Giants the edge in 7-2 win over the Rockies

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.

Giants’ bullpen no match for Colorado’s bats in 6-4 loss on getaway day

By Morris Phillips

The Colorado Rockies are crushing opponent’s bullpens, and they made sure the Giants got a reminder before the visitors left town Thursday afternoon.

David Murphy and Charlie Blackmon homered in a five-run, seventh inning as the Rockies overcame a late deficit and a flawless five innings from Giants’ starter Tyler Anderson in a 6-4 win.

Giants’ relievers had allowed just five homers in 56 appearances coming in. But the new rule requiring that each pitcher face at least three batters doesn’t allow managers to always match up–right vs. right, left vs. left–and that favors a power hitting lineup like the Rockies possess. After Thursday’s three homers and two doubles, Colorado is hitting .294 with 11 home runs after the opposing starter is lifted.

“Anything we can do to get to the ‘pen and have someone go through at least three hitters in our lineup, whether it’s lefty or righty, we feel good about that,” Trevor Story said.

Anderson didn’t issue the home team any favors, as the former Rockie dealt for five innings, allowing two hits, two walks and no runs.  In his first start of the season, Anderson appeared highly motivated by his fall from grace in 2019. Tabbed as the Rockies’ opening day starter, Anderson suffered a knee injury after making five starts, then was demoted to Triple-A before having season-ending surgery. After being waived by the Rockies, Anderson was claimed by the Giants in October.

“I hadn’t thrown a lot of pitches, and there’s been a lot of injuries going on around baseball,” Anderson answered when asked if should have been allowed to pitch deeper into the ballgame. “I think that was the right move there.”

After the game went scoreless for the first five innings, the bats broke out on both sides with Trevor Story’s solo shot off Wandy Peralta in the sixth, which was topped by Mauricio Dubon’s three-run shot in seventh to give the Giants the lead.

But Rico Garcia failed to hold that lead, allowing consecutive doubles to Garrett Hampson and Chris Owings before Murphy’s two-run shot in a pinch-hitting role. Manager  Gabe Kapler then turned to Caleb Baragar but he allowed a David Dahl single ahead of Blackmon’s homer and the Rockies led 6-3.

Jairo Diaz came on for the Rockies in the eighth and got the final, four outs for the save.

Teams were required to reduce their active rosters from 30 to 28 before the game, and the Giants opted to demote Steven Duggar and pitcher Andrew Suarez to their alternative training site in San Jose

The Giants have dropped four of five and open a three-game series at Dodgers Stadium on Friday night.

“I think it’s just, take the step right in front of you. We understand that there’s no architectural blueprint for this season, and we’re just going to fight tomorrow. Be ready and prepared to play the Dodgers in Los Angeles tomorrow.”

Jeff Samardzija is expected to start for the Giants on Friday with Johnny Cueto scheduled for Saturday.

 

 

 

New Gen Giants load up on the Rockies, win 8-3 in series finale

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Anyway you dissect it, this is a week of permanent transition for the Giants with the retirement of manager Bruce Bochy looming on Sunday.

But that’s not all the change. The Giants offered an interesting lineup on Thursday for the finale of the series with the Rockies without Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey or Pablo Sandoval and Joe Panik for that matter.⁹⁷

With the exception of Evan Longoria, Bochy went with the new and the young to tangle with Colorado’s Kyle Freeland and the five relievers that followed him. And that group acquitted themselves quite well, racking up 12 hits (at least one hit against each of the six pitchers they saw) and eight runs in a 8-3 win that was a close game into the eighth inning.

Mike Yasztremski homered in the fourth–his 21st–and Mauricio Dubon in the seventh to support Tyler Beede and a host of relievers. Beede was dominant into the fourth inning where he left abruptly with an oblique injury while facing Ryan McMahon, the first batter of the inning.

At that point, Beede had struck out seven, while allowing no hits or walks. Afterwards, Bochy tried to make light of what was shaping up to be the best start of the rookie righthander’s season.

“I was kidding him, it probably wasn’t good timing, ‘But you know you’ve got a no-hitter going here, you want me to take you out?'” Bochy recounted.

Butch Smith followed Beede out of the bullpen and got through the fourth, but allowed the Rockies a game-tying run in the fifth.