SF Giants starter Alex Wood faced early adversity Monday against the Kansas City Royals but was able to bounce back in a big way. Wood gave up two runs in the third inning, one of which was due to a weird set of circumstances, so even the two earned runs will seem slightly inflated. He allowed just the two runs in six innings of work, striking out five Royals, on only 80 pitches.
Wood, Walks, and Whiffs: The SF Giants overcome early trouble, pull away late against Kansas City
Coming off of a sweep against the Dodgers, it could have made sense for the Giants to not 'get up' for a series opening game against the 20-39 Royals. However, it appears their weekend momentum carried into Monday. That being said, Kansas City came out swinging first, led by the bottom of the lineup. In the top of the third, Carlos Santana walked, followed by a double by Emmanuel Rivera. A Whit Merrifield sacrifice-fly made it 1-0. Bobby Witt Jr. then hit a ball that ricocheted off of Wood's glove for a single, making it 2-0 Royals. After that, Kansas City did not score the rest of the game.
The story of the game from the Giants point of view was their patience. Giants hitters combined for a season-high NINE walks. Just like the Royals, the Giants' offense started flowing in the third inning. Austin Wynns started it with a double. Next came walks to Luis Gonzalez, Mike Yastrzemski, Darin Ruf, AND Joc Pederson. After the third inning, it was all tied up at 2-2. Royals starter Brady Singer threw 36 pitches in the third, 23 of them were balls.
In the bottom of the sixth, Austin Slater walked, and Thairo Estrada singled scoring Slater, making it 3-2 Giants. In the seventh, Royals reliever Arodys Vizcaino walked Ruf and Slater with one out in the inning. In turn, Brandon Crawford made him pay, knocking in both runners, making it 5-2. A throwing error in the eighth by Royals catcher MJ Melendez allowed Gonzalez to score, which made it 6-2, which was the final score.
For the Giants, this is their fourth win in a row, improving their season tally to 34-26. After the Padres win Monday against Chicago and the Dodgers off, the Giants move to 3 games behind both teams in the NL West. Up next for San Francisco, they continue their series against Kansas City on Tuesday, with Logan Webb (5-2, 3.77 ERA) slated to go for the Giants, with the first pitch scheduled for 6;45 PST.
Pitching lines for the Giants today:
Wood 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 4.11 ERA.
Mauricio Llovera 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 K, 5.19 ERA.
Jake McGee 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 5.71 ERA.
Camilo Doval 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 K, 2.73 ERA.