Mired in a three-game losing streak and having dropped five of their last six contests, the SF Giants turned to their Opening Day starter to try to snap the skid. It worked, and the offense finally broke through as well.
Saturday afternoon at Oracle Park, the Giants hit four home runs to back up a sterling performance from Logan Webb and hammer the visiting Cincinnati Reds, 9-2.
Webb was in control from the start. He retired the side in order in the first inning with two strikeouts and was almost through the second despite a two-out walk when an Evan Longoria error prolonged the frame and allowed the Reds to follow with a base hit for an unearned run against Webb.
Longoria immediately made up for his miscue by homering to lead off the home half of the second, and with one out in the same inning Thairo Estrada hit one into the left-field bleachers to give the Giants a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
The hosts added two more in the third, with Austin Slater drawing a walk to start the inning and Wilmer Flores ripping a double before Darin Ruf singled to score a run and Longoria added a secoond RBI with a sacrifice fly.
Staked to a 4-1 lead going into the fourth, Webb ran into brief trouble. He issued a one-out walk, which was followed by a base hit to put runners on the corners. However, the next offering was hit right back to the mound and Webb started a double play to end the inning.
The Giants' ace allowed only one baserunner in his final two innings, while the offense continued to pile on. Estrada walked to open the fourth and scored on a Tommy La Stella double, and Joc Pederson led off the fifth with his team-leading 17th home run of the season.
Flores put the final nail in the coffin with a big swing
After a perfect sixth (and final) inning by Webb, the bats provided more insurance to make sure he'd earn the victory: Flores launched a two-out, three-run blast for a 9-1 advantage.
Webb finished with six innings of two-hit, two-run ball and just the lone unearned run scoring. He struck out six and dropped his ERA to 3.04.
The Reds added a solo home run in the eighth inning against Sam Long for their final tally.
The Giants victory earned them a game on everyone else in the NL West, as the other four teams all dropped their Saturday contests. The Orange and Black are now 5.5 back of first-place Los Angeles and 4.5 behind second-place San Diego in the division.
San Francisco will look to take the series over the lowly Reds in the finale on Sunday afternoon.