The San Francisco Giants were dialed in at the dish, erupting for 10 runs and three home runs in Tuesday night’s dismantling of the Oakland Athletics.
It may be a lost season for both Bay Area teams, but no matter how bad either team may be, excitement always ensues during the Bay Bridge Series. After last night’s demoralizing collapse by the bullpen, the San Francisco Giants needed to rebound in a big way against their Bay Area rival. Luckily, the offense delivered early and often against A’s starter Sean Manaea.
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The rally continued thanks to a costly fielding error by Yonder Alonso, allowing Tomlinson to advance to second and Brandon Belt to reach first. Buster Posey continued his strong 2017 campaign with a RBI single to the right side, advancing Belt to third as well.
Manaea finally recorded the first out of the inning by getting Hunter Pence to fly out. However, Brandon Crawford knocked Belt in on a fielder’s choice. With Crawford on first and three runs scored in the inning already, Nick Hundley piled the damage on, taking Manaea deep for his fifth home run of the year.
The Giants would ultimately bat around in the inning with Hernandez finally making the final out in the inning.
Jeff Samardzija was living every starting pitchers dream, trotting out to the mound with a sizeable lead. He gave the A’s a run back in the inning after giving up a two out single to Alonso, which was not too harmful.
Looking to tack on more runs, Belt and Posey hit back-to-back double in the second inning to increase their lead back to five.
In the bottom of the second, the A’s would not go away and started chipping away at the lead again. A sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce would decrease the Giants lead back down to four, making it 6-2.
The third inning went rather quietly for both teams, with neither scoring in the inning. In the fourth inning, Belt went deep for his 17th home run of the year, increasing the lead to 7-2.
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Samardzija fell victim to the long ball in the fifth inning, giving up a two run home run to Joyce, but ultimately buckled down after that.
As we have learned at various points in this frustrating season, no lead is safe, which is why it was so important for the Giants to keep adding on to their lead. One way to do that is by hitting home run’s, something the Giants have not done a lot of in 2017.
Hunter Pence in particular has struggled significantly this season, especially when it comes to his power numbers, but tonight was a different story. In the sixth inning, Pence muscled a three run home run to increase the lead to 10-4.
That score would hold up the rest of the way, as the Giants would even up the Bay Bridge Series at one with two games remaining.
Samardzija improves to 6-11 on the year after throwing 8 innings, while only giving up 3 earned runs.
- Offense comes to life: It is no secret the Giants are inconsistent offensively, often struggling to score runs. Games like these, where they put up double digit hits and runs are always encouraging to see. It goes to show how important power can play a role in a game, as six of the 10 runs were generated by a home run.
- Brandon Belt: His 2017 season is an interesting one for me. Yes, his average is way down and he draws criticism for the amount of pitches he takes because it has amounted to a high rate of strike outs looking, but his power numbers are there. He has 17 home runs on the year, which is one off his career high. It is important now to see if he can build off his power numbers, while hitting for a higher average like in previous years.
- Jeff Samardzija: With the run support he received tonight, he did not need to overpower the A’s. All he needed to do was turn in a solid outing and hopefully eat some innings, and he did both. His 6-11 record and his 4.77 ERA may not be pretty, but he has been one of the few bright spots in this rotation.