SAN FRANCISCO – Johnny Cueto got rocked early but back-to-back home runs by both Austin Slater and Jason Vosler sparked the Giants 5-4 comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. San Francisco took the series and now head to Los Angeles for a four-game series against the Dodgers.
The Giants lineup struggled early to find any kind of rhythm against the D-backs starter Merrill Kelly. But in the sixth inning, Steven Duggar led off with a single, finally getting Kelly into the stretch. Mike Yastrzemski lined a pitch just inside the left-field line for an RBI double, and drove in Duggar all the way from first. Yastrzemski advanced to third on a wild pitch then scored on a sacrifice grounder by Buster Posey to bring San Francisco back within two at 4-2.
Kelly was solid on the mound for the Diamondbacks tonight despite taking the no-decision. He went six innings on the mound, allowed just two runs on five hits with six strikeouts. At one point, he retired 11 straight Giants, including striking out the side in the fifth inning.
The go-ahead runs came just two innings later in the seventh inning just as Kelly was pulled from the game.
Donovan Solano came off the bench and needed just two pitches to line a leadoff double to right field to open the seventh inning. Then, with two outs, Slater blasted a 466-foot bomb home run into the second level in left field to tie the game 4-4. In the next at-bat, Vosler on a full count took an Alex Young pitch deep to right field, into the Giants bullpen to give the San Francisco a 5-4 lead. Vosler recorded his first-career big league home run.
“It was an excellent at bat,” Gabe Kapler said on Vosler’s home run. “Obviously, he fought really hard to stay in it and get a good pitch to hit. When he hit that home run, [Evan Longoria] was to my left and I can’t remember the last time I saw Longoria so excited. I remember seeing him have game-winning home runs and he wasn’t as excited then as he was for Vosler.”
“I would be lying if I told you that I remembered all of it,” said Vosler. “Just trying to put a good swing on the ball, down 0-2, trying to get a good pitch to hit and put a good barrel on it. I’m pretty sure I got around the bases pretty quick. Not only the first home run, but putting the team ahead after Slater’s home run, it was a great moment.”
“Probably the clutchest first homer I’ve seen,” Slater said of Vosler’s homer.
Vosler came in for Darin Ruf, who injured his hamstring after turning the corner at first base following his single in the sixth inning. Ruf replaced Brandon Belt at first base, Belt was placed on the 10-day DL earlier today with a strained oblique.
The D-backs made things interesting in the ninth inning, they loaded the bases against Giants closer Tyler Rogers. Pavin Smith, Nick Ahmed and Josh Rojas all singled to load the bases with one out. Rogers struck out Ketel Marte and forced Eduardo Escobar to ground out to Brandon Crawford at short to end the inning.
Smith was nearly thrown out running to home plate on what seemed to be a short hopper off of the plate by Marte with one out, but home plate umpire Nick Mahrley called the ball foul, much to the dismay and disagreement of Posey at home. Rogers struck him out with a pitch up and inside.
“I thought [Rogers] made good pitches all the way through,” said Kapler. “There’s going to be some contact and we have to make some plays behind him.”
Cueto, meanwhile, went just five innings on the mound for his second straight start tonight. However, unlike his last start, this time he never found his groove, especially early on. Cueto allowed four runs, all in the second inning, on eight hits with five strikeouts.
He earned his second no-decision in his last three starts, and allowed eight hits for the third time in his four starts this month. Cueto got himself into some sort of rhythm after allowing the four-run second inning. He retired the side in order in the third, and allowed just two combined hits in his last two innings, both singles.
Following the back-to-back wins, the Giants now head to L.A. for a rematch against the Dodgers starting Thursday night (7:10 pm PT). Lefty Alex Wood (5-1, 1.93 ERA, 42 K) will get the start to open the series for San Francisco.
Wood took the loss on his last outing against LA at home last Friday nigh. He allowed just two runs on eight hits through six innings as the Giants lost 2-1 against Trevor Bauer.
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