SF Giants break out for biggest win of 2022
For three weeks the SF Giants have struggled in every aspect of the game - pitching, hitting and defense - and seemingly have had every close play and every break go against them.
They have been able to win a few games here and there, including Saturday's masterpiece by left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, but it wasn't until Sunday's series finale in San Diego that everything fell in their favor.
Buoyed by an offense that hit three home runs among 17 hits and an errorless game on defense, lefty Alex Wood turned in seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts to help the Giants to a 12-0 blasting of the host Padres. The win allowed San Francisco to split the four-game set after losing the first two.
Facing young left-hander and NL Rookie of the Year candidate MacKenzie Gore, the Giants put two runs on the board in both the second and third innings, both two-run home runs. Thairo Estrada kicked things off in the second by just clearing the left field wall after Darin Ruf's single, and Wilmer Flores made it consecutive games with a round tripper when he followed Austin Slater's leadoff double in the third.
San Francisco broke the game open in the fourth. David Villar singled, moved to second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch before Austin Wynns blooped a single to center to score the run. Mike Yastrzemski then roped a ball to center and scampered to third with a run-scoring triple as the center fielder dived and missed it.
Slater was next and hit a single up the middle to plate Yastrzemski, ending Gore's day. After a Flores single, recently-activated rookie standout Luis Gonzalez singled to left to score Slater for an 8-0 Giants lead.
Alex Wood had a no-hitter into the sixth inning
On the mound, Wood was dominant until two were out in the bottom of the seventh. He walked a batter in the first and didn't allow another base runner until a leadoff single in the sixth, after which he induced a pair of force outs and a strikeout. In the seventh he recorded two ground outs before a pair of singles to left field. Remaining in the game thanks to the big lead, he allowed hard contact but right at Slater in center for a fly out to end the frame and his afternoon.
The Giants added to their total with two runs in the top of the seventh on a Yastrzemski infield single with the bases loaded and a Flores hard-hit ground out that was knocked down by the pitcher.
The final tallies came on a Joey Bart RBI single in the eighth and Flores' second home run of the day and third in two games, a solo shot, in the ninth.
Despite the short winning streak, the Giants remain in third place in the NL West, 12.5 behind division-leading Los Angeles.
The last week of play before the All-Star break will be filled with home games for San Francisco, as they welcome in Arizona for a three-game set beginning Monday before a four-game series with Milwaukee starts Thursday.