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SF Giants: Marathon game ends in 9-3 victory against Angels

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 20: Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on June 20, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 20: Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on June 20, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 23: Kevin Gausman #34 of the SF Giants pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 23, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

If you did not catch the SF Giants game, you would not have expected much excitement in a blowout game judging by the score. However, it was a weird game that had plenty of twists and turns that ended in a 9-3 victory for the Giants, completing the two-game sweep against the Los Angeles Angels.

SF Giants: Marathon game ends in 9-3 victory against Angels

The story of the game should be how well Kevin Gausman pitched. The right-handed hurler was superb as he has been all season. He yielded one run on four hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts across seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.49.

Unfortunately, one of the four hits he allowed was a booming home run off the bat of Luis Rengifo. Gausman faced off against one of the most exciting players in the game in Shohei Ohtani and had the more impressive start. Furthermore, the 30-year-old got Ohtani to strike out twice in three at-bats.

However, the game took a funky, and maddening, turn after both starters had completed their respective appearance. The Giants felt like they were in a good position late in the game as they faced off against one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Prior to today’s game, the Angels’ bullpen had posted a 4.76 ERA in 2021, which is the sixth-worst mark in baseball.

San Francisco struggled to muster up any offense as the game went into extra innings with a 1-1 tie. Given the new extra innings rule that allows a runner to start each inning at second base, the game was expected to come to a conclusion relatively quickly. That did not take place as both teams proved incapable of putting up a crooked number.

That is, until the 13th inning came around. The SF Giants and Angels were even at a 2-2 tie. The Angels had a couple of opportunities to end the game before the 13th inning, but they could not execute. This was their game to win. The Giants looked tired and were sputtering on offense.

The Angels helped out an exhausted offense as Alex Claudio came in and could not find the strike zone. He walked three of the first four batters, allowing the first run of the inning to score and give the Giants a 3-2 advantage.

Donovan Solano came up with the bases loaded and one out. This is a situation he has excelled in since he put on an SF Giants uniform, but even he struck out on three pitches. It felt like the Giants were not going to capitalize on another potential rally.

Steven Duggar, who has been tremendous in 2021, stepped to the plate and grounded a ball to the diving second baseman. The second baseman did not get up fast enough as Duggar beat the throw for a two-out infield hit that scored two runs, giving the Giants a 6-2 lead.

Two batters later, Mike Tauchman hopped into the batter’s box. He had struck out five times before his at-bat in the 13th inning. It was a rough day for the left-handed bat. His fortune improved considerably as he blasted a 2-2 sinker over the right-field fence for a three-run homer.

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One team had finally taken a commanding lead. The Angels came up in the bottom half of the inning, but only pushed one run across home plate, giving the Giants a convincing victory. One detail that might get overlooked in Wednesday’s game is that the Giants’ bullpen completed six innings without allowing an earned run. They have seemingly stabilized in recent weeks and that trend continued against the Angels. San Francisco did not play great but they managed to win by six runs in a long and exhausting game.

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