San Francisco Giants: Losing Streak Snapped Thanks to Austin Slater

Jun 16, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Austin Slater (53) RBI singles in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Austin Slater (53) RBI singles in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco Giants came to life offensively in the eighth inning of their 6-3 come from behind victory over the Atlanta Braves, snapping their seven game losing streak along the way.

For the majority of Tuesday evening’s game, the San Francisco Giants looked well on their way to losing for the eighth time in a row. The offense was slow to get started, only mustering four hits through the first seven innings, while getting shutout.

In the first inning, Joe Panik, who has been swinging the bat well, reached on a one out single. Nothing came of that, as Brandon Crawford would follow with an inning ending double play. It would be the first of two inning ending double plays in the first four innings.

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Matt Moore got the start on the mound, which has not been kind to him in road starts in 2017. However, Moore coasted throughout the majority of the contest. He retired the Braves’ first six hitters of the game on only 19 pitches, before running into trouble in the third inning.

Dansby Swanson led off the third for the Braves with a single to left field and Johan Camargo followed with a RBI triple to deep center field, scoring Swanson in the process. Then, with one out in the inning, Camargo scored on a sacrifice fly from Ender Inciarte to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.

From there, Moore buckled down and was able to keep the Giants in the game the rest of the way. He allowed a base runner in every inning from the third on, but never ran into any serious trouble, until the seventh inning.

With two outs and a runner on base, Camargo doubled to right field, but Kurt Suzuki was held at third. Moore was able to escape the inning unscathed after getting Julio Teheran to line out to end the inning.

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If the Giants were to ever rally, this would be the time. Moore’s ability to keep the score within reach, especially with the way he has pitched on the road in 2017, was huge, and the offense certainly delivered in the eighth inning thanks to some luck and timely hitting.

Hunter Pence led the inning off with a single to Camargo at third. Then, what looked like was going to be a rally killing double play by Brandon Belt ended up being the break the Giants needed. Belt hit a ground ball to Phillips at second, who threw to Swanson covering second to initiate the double play, but dropped it on the transfer.

At least, that was the ruling on the field. The play was reviewed and it was determined that Swanson never attained possession of the ball, and both runners were safe. Rookie outfielder Austin Slater followed with the biggest hit of his young major league career, a three-run home run to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.

Kelby Tomlinson followed with a single, Moore moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt, then Denard Span plated him on a RBI single to left.

Panik reached on a bunt single and Span moved all the way to third on a throwing error by Ian Krol. Crawford knocked in the fifth run of the inning on a throwing error to second by Matt Adams. The inning finally came to a close after Buster Posey hit into a double play.

It feels like the Giants can never win a game without inducing some form of stress. After a long break, Moore trotted back out to the mound in the eighth inning, but was quickly replaced by George Kontos after allowing a lead off single.

Kontos struggled significantly, immediately allowing a single to the first batter he faced. Then, after recording an out, he gave up a RBI double to Matt Kemp, before being replaced by Josh Osich.

Osich did his job, getting Matt Adams to pop out to Belt in foul territory. Sam Dyson then ended the inning by getting Suzuki to fly out to right.

In the ninth inning, Belt extended the lead to 6-3 on a home run to right field. It was Belt’s 12th home run of the year.

After Sunday’s demoralizing loss to the Rockies, Mark Melancon was back on the mound to try and convert the save. Unlike his previous outing, Melancon looked like the closer the Giants envisioned they were signing with a quiet and non-stressful ninth inning to give the Giants a 6-3 victory.

Game Notes:

Matt Moore has struggled significantly on the road this season. Heading into Tuesday’s game he was 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA. His final line was 7+ IP, allowing 7 hits, 1 BB, 3 ER, and 6 K’s.

Austin Slater is the real deal: I say keep trotting the young prospect out in left, he is certainly taking advantage of his opportunity. He is batting .340, hit his second career home run, which was a game changer, and already has 11 RBI.

Aside from Kontos, the bullpen did a great job preserving the lead. Osich and Dyson were thrown in a tough situation in the eight inning with one out and two runners in scoring position, but did not falter. Melancon did not let his struggles pile on, and was able to convert his 11th save of the year.

Next: Giants Looking for Bullpen Depth, Promote Crick

The Giants will be back in action Wednesday at 4:35 PM, as Jeff Samardzija will matchup against Sean Newcomb.