For the second time in 2022, Carlos Rodon took the ball as the starting pitcher for the SF Giants. And for the second time, he dominated. Unlike his first start, however, the Giants rode Rodon's start to a victory.
The Giants opened their road and interleague schedules Friday night at the newly-rebranded Cleveland Guardians and came away with a 4-1 win.
Last Saturday, in the Giants' second game of the season, Rodon took the ball and flummoxed the Miami Marlins bats: the southpaw threw 89 pitches over five innings with three hits and two walks allowed while striking out 12. He gave up just one run but was saddled with a no-decision as the Orange and black only put up a single tally while Miami scored one more to take the lead for good in the seventh inning.
While Rodon's strikeout total wasn't as high in Cleveland, the left-hander further proved his worthiness of the two-year, $44 million contract he signed as a free agent with seven strong innings of two-hit ball, walking a pair and striking out nine.
The SF Giants launched three home runs to back up Rodon's outing
Rodon was helped by a Giants offense putting on a power show. Brandon Crawford launched his first home run of the season in the second inning to open the scoring, and Joc Pederson replicated the feat with a sixth-inning blast. Before Rodon was removed to start the home half of the eighth, catcher Joey Bart hit a laser to left field that barely cleared the tall fence; the umpires needed to go to a review to confirm that the ball hit a railing above the yellow line and indeed counted as a round tripper.
Bart's smash came with Thairo Estrada on second base and two out in the eighth, giving the Giants' bullpen some much-needed breathing room.
The only run Rodon allowed came in the bottom of the seventh, as Jose Ramirez walked, advanced to third base on a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Owen Miller.
Following Rodon, right-handed reliever Tyler Rogers pitched a perfect eighth inning, and you righty Camilo Doval worked around a one-out Ramirez double in the bottom of the ninth to secure the save.
The Giants will attempt to take the series in game two as the take on the Guardians on Saturday afternoon. Anthony DeSclafani is expected to start for San Francisco, while Cal Quantrill goes for Cleveland.