After dropping two out of three games at home to the team with the worst record in the National League, the SF Giants had a much-needed day off Monday.
They came back Tuesday, ready with their biggest signing of the offseason on the mound, took an early lead and were able to hang on for a 4-3 win as the visiting Detroit Tigers made a late push.
Carlos Rodon was the big story on the bump for San Francisco. The southpaw, signed just after the end of the MLB lockout, tossed six strong innings with four strikeouts and just one run allowed to earn his seventh victory of the season and lower his ERA to 2.62.
The Giants offense struck quickly to provide Rodon with run support. In the bottom of the first inning, Wilmer Flores drew a one-out walk and moved to third base on a double from Joc Pederson. With two away, Evan Longoria singled to center field to drive in both runners.
Yastrzemski helped out on defense and at the plate
Rodon was helped by his defense in the fourth, as Javier Baez led off for the Tigers with a rope off the wall in right field. The ball ricocheted directly to Mike Yastrzemski, who wheeled and fired a strike directly to Thairo Estrada for the tag on Baez trying for a double. That play ended up important in keeping Detroit off the board at that point, as a Riley Greene double later in the frame would have scored Baez had he been on base.
In the fifth inning, Yaz again came through - this time on offense. Darin Ruf started a two-out, bases-empty rally with a walk, and Longoria reached on an infield hit. A wild pitch moved both runners up, allowed Yastrzemski to notch a pair of RBI with a single to center for a 4-0 Giants lead.
Rodon, having allowed four hits through five innings, began to falter in the sixth. He allowed a one-out double and threw a wild pitch before Miguel Cabrera singled in Detroit's first run. A Greene single followed, but Rodon settled down and struck out slugging rookie Spencer Torkelson, representing the potential tying run, to end the frame and his evening.
The Tigers added a run on back-to-back doubles in the seventh, and a pair of two-out walks in the top of the eighth preceeded a run-scoring single to cut the Giants' lead to one. After another walk loaded the bases, Camilo Doval was called upon to preserve the lead, and ehe did just that with a strikeout to strand all three runners. The inning also could have been worse if not for a Yastrzemski leaping catch to record the second out just before the rally began.
In the ninth Doval issued a one-out walk but induced a game-ending double play to earn the save.
With Los Angeles having suffered their second-straight loss in Colorado, the Giants pulled to within five games of first place in the NL West. San Francisco and Detroit finish their two-game set Wednesday afternoon, with Alex Wood getting the start for the Orange and Black.