San Francisco – It’s obvious the Giants lineup has struggled heavily through the last few weeks. San Francisco has won just three of their last 11 games entering Saturday’s matchup against the Rockies with scoring a league-low 11 total runs through the first five innings dating back to June 22.
The Giants 5-3 win over Colorado today may not be the immediate change of direction that they want, but it could be the step in the right direction that they need – if at least for a day.
“We love the ability to come back in games,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We did it a lot during that 10-game winning streak. But we’re going to be the best when we score early and take early leads.”
Michael Conforto sparked San Francisco early with a 355-foot two-run homer to left, his 13th of the season, that just made its way over the wall. Joc Pederson also scored on the homer after hitting a ground-rule double to left two batters earlier.
The Giants would add another run in the fourth inning off of an RBI single by Blake Sabol, capitalizing on a leadoff double by Patrick Bailey one at-bat earlier to go up 3-2.
The big blast came in the fifth inning. Austin Slater came into the game to replace Mike Yastrzmeski and launched a two-run homer with two outs to extend San Francisco’s lead to 5-2.
“Austin Slater coming up in a big spot against a left-handed pitcher, in a pinch-hit at-bat, and having success is about the least surprising thing,” said Kapler. “That’s what we have in him around here. He’s just so good at it, and you can see the confidence when he walks up to the plate in those moments.”
The pinch-hit homer was the seventh of Slater’s career, his first pinch-hit home run of the season), and the fourth by a Giant this season.
Unlike the night before, San Francisco was able to get solid hits, this time against starter Connor Seabold. They knocked out Seabold with two outs in the fourth, grabbing seven hits off of him with three runs. Reliever Brad Hand allowed the home run by Slater during his four outs of relief out of the bullpen.
Giants opener Ryan Walker was decent in his two innings, he allowed a pair of runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Walker had trouble getting the final outs of the first and second innings, allowing the opening run to start the game on an RBI single to C.J. Cron in the first inning, scoring Ryan McMahon who singled earlier, and walking Kris Bryant.
In the second, after simply getting the first two outs once again, he allowed a solo blast to Austin Wynns with two outs which tied the game at two.
Alex Wood took over for Walker in the third, working his way back from injury, and was solid in his relief appearance as he aims to get back into the starting rotation. Just last week he struggled out of the bullpen in the Giants Sunday night loss at the New York Mets.
“You can see what he’s capable of when he gives everything he has on any given day,” Kapler said. “He’s capable of starting games and coming into games like this and being equally good.”
Wood allowed just three hits in five innings with three strikeouts and a walk in his outing. He threw 72 pitches.
The Rockies pulled a run back in the eighth inning off of an RBI single by Randal Grichuk off of Tyler Rogers to make it 5-3. Rogers also struggled in Friday night’s loss as well.
Camilo Doval took over in the ninth and earned the save, retiring Colorado in order.
The Giants will look to take the series and head into the All-Star break on a high note in Sunday’s finale at 1:05 p.m.
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