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SF Giants: Timely hitting, pitching help secure 2-0 victory

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: Johnny Cueto #47 of the SF Giants pitches in the top of the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park on June 25, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: Johnny Cueto #47 of the SF Giants pitches in the top of the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park on June 25, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 20: Donovan Solano #7 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by Curt Casali #2 after Solano scored against the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the six inning at Oracle Park on June 20, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The SF Giants nabbed the first game of a three-game series against the Oakland A’s due in part to solid pitching and timely hitting. The 2-0 victory extended their lead to five games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres in the National League West.

SF Giants: Timely hitting, pitching help secure 2-0 victory

Johnny Cueto was superb against a tough A’s lineup in what looked like a vintage start by the 14-year veteran. He allowed some traffic on the basepaths, but he was able to get out of every jam unscathed.

The righty needed 102 pitches to complete seven innings while registering five hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts. As usual, Cueto did well to disrupt the opposing hitter’s timing as he recorded 10 swinging strikes to go along with six groundouts.

It was mostly an uneventful night for Cueto but when he walked off of the mound after the seventh inning, the Giants were in a good position to win. Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee followed Cueto to complete one scoreless inning apiece. This was the Giants’ 11th shutout of the season, which is the most in baseball.

Interestingly, it appears that McGee has quietly regained the closer role. After hitting a rough patch earlier in the year, the hard-throwing lefty has been much more reliable as he has not allowed an earned run in nine June appearances.

The offense had an unusually silent night at the plate. The Giants collected only five hits with three walks, but that was more than enough given that the A’s lineup struggled as well. The first run came on a two-out rally that began with a double off the bat of Wilmer Flores. Brandon Crawford followed with a bloop single to plate Flores.

The next run came from Curt Casali, who slammed a solo shot to left-center field to give the Giants an insurance run and a 2-0 advantage. Remarkably, the veteran catcher caught his sixth shutout of the season as well.

Casali struggled badly in the first two months of the season, but he is beginning to regain his form as he is batting .421 with two home runs in his last seven games.

Related Story. SF Giants: Bullpen target reaches free agency

The Giants faced off against a tough lefty in Sean Manaea and still managed to squeak by with a victory. Alex Wood faces off against Frankie Montas on Saturday with the Giants looking to clinch a series victory with a win.

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