San Francisco – Joc Pederson hasn’t swung a bat in 10 days, a little rusty the outfielder was just activated off the injured list for wrist inflammation. Pederson took flight scoring the winning run. Sliding home for the win could use some work.
“I knew that their pitching had been good the whole series, so I got to take advantage of the opportunity that we got,” Pederson said.
Pederson scored from first base on Mike Yastrzemski’s RBI double to right-center as the Giants rallied in the eighth inning to defeat the New York Mets 5-4 to split the weekend-long series in what was a back-and-forth matchup.
“If I was still on third, I don’t know what would happen, so it was a really good send,” explained Pederson. “I had to start wearing a brace on my right hand, and I didn’t really want to brace myself (on the slide) so I just kind of rolled.
The game moved a little quick, but I was able to come through and help the team win that one.”
Pederson returned to the lineup for the first time on Sunday after spending time on the injured list. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. Pederson drove in LaMonte Wade Jr. on a single to shallow right that went just over the glove of Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme. He drew a big walk with one out in the eighth to set up the go-ahead run off of Mike Yastrzemski’s double to right-center.
The win marks the first time San Francisco won back-to-back games this season, following a slow start. The Giants have won eight games out of their first 21, including tonight’s game.
“It’s good momentum,” San Francisco’s manager Gabe Kapler said. “We know that we’re going to have stretches of poor play and we had a stretch of poor play there. Against a good team like the Mets, when it comes to games in a row to finish the series, it certainly gives you a chance to ride that momentum into the next series.”
The Giants lineup picked up where they left off from Saturday’s win and wasted no time against New York’s starter Tylor Megill.
Following the opening run of the game from Wade Jr., Thairo Estrada continued his solid start to the season by hitting a deep home run to left to extend San Francisco’s lead to 2-0 in the second.
Ross Stripling (0-1, 6.89 ERA) took the mound for the Giants and pitched a good opening frame before struggling the rest of the way through.
“We’ve seen what they’ve done to us in this series, and it’s a good test,” said Stripling. “Really thought I commanded most of my pitches and was ahead more than I’ve been in prior outings, so overall I personally stepped forward.”
“I think overall it was a positive outing,” Kapler added. “It’s a really tough, deep lineup, tough to mix and match type of lineup and he’s able to get through it once and we needed to help him there, but I thought he did a nice job overall.”
Stripling looked to regain command in the third, retiring the first two batters easily. But he allowed a two-out single to Sterling Marte, followed by a double to Francisco Lindor that drove in Marte cutting San Francisco’s lead to one.
The Mets tied the game in the fourth off of Mark Canha’s sacrifice fly that Michael Conforto dropped, then took the lead on another sacrifice fly by Brandon Nimmo, giving New York the 3-2 lead.
Stripling went just 3 ⅓ innings on the mound, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with just one walk and strikeout.
Despite Stripling’s struggles, the Giants bullpen stepped up. Taylor and Tyler Rogers, John Brebbia, Scott Alexander, and Camilo Doval combined to lock down the final 5 ⅓ innings. Together, they allowed just one run on two hits. Doval struck out the first two batters of the ninth on his way to his second save of the season.
The Giants will look to extend their win streak when they take on the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night at 6:45 p.m.
Photo by SFGiants/Twitter