MLB

Giants crush 5 HRs, beat D-backs in slugfest

SAN FRANCISCO — After overcoming a seven-run deficit in a stunning win over the D-backs the previous night, the Giants remained undaunted despite falling behind early again on Wednesday.

For the second consecutive night, the Giants tapped into their power to wipe away an early deficit, crushing five home runs to power a 13-7 win over Arizona at Oracle Park.

It wasn’t quite as dramatic a comeback as the one the Giants staged on Tuesday, when Mike Yastrzemski delivered a go-ahead grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning to lift his club to a 9-8 win, but it was an impressive win nonetheless. The five home runs were the most the Giants have hit at Oracle Park since April 7, 2008, when they also slugged five against the Padres.

“I think last night reminded us that we have big innings in us,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We have the ability to grind out at-bats and wear pitchers down. I actually think we had opportunities we didn’t capitalize on in both games. We could have scored several more runs tonight, but overall, I thought the hitters did a really nice job of managing their plate appearances.” 

Arizona jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against Anthony DeSclafani in the first, but the Giants’ resilient offense responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a three-run, go-ahead shot from Buster Posey.

Posey deposited an 87.7 mph changeup from D-backs right-hander Merrill Kelly into the tunnel in left field to collect his 12th home run of the year and give the Giants a 3-2 lead. It’s the most home runs Posey has hit since 2017, when he crushed 12 over 140 games in an All-Star campaign. Jason Vosler later added an RBI double to cap the first-inning rally. 

The four-spot was emblematic of the Giants’ relentless brand of offense, which entered Wednesday averaging 4.05 pitches per plate appearance, the second-highest mark in the Majors behind only the Yankees (4.07). They sent nine batters to the plate in the first and forced Kelly to throw 47 pitches, expediting his exit after only three innings. 

“I think we’ve done a nice job throughout the season, but in particular tonight, of just grinding through at-bats,” Kapler said. “Sometimes the way that leads to home runs is pitchers tend to get fatigued when they’re throwing a lot of pitches and we’re fouling off pitches. They don’t always lead to great outcomes in the at-bats, but sometimes another player in the lineup benefits from those early really tough plate appearances, and I think that’s what led to some of the home runs today.”

Posey set the tone for the rest of San Francisco’s offense, as Steven Duggar, LaMonte Wade Jr., Wilmer Flores and Brandon Belt also went deep to help the Giants win their third straight game against the D-backs, who have now lost 22 consecutive road games to tie the 1963 Mets and the 1943 A’s for the longest such streak in the Modern Era (since 1900).

The Giants (43-25) lead the National League with 99 home runs this season, helping them build a two-game lead over the Dodgers in the loaded NL West. They’re six games ahead of the Padres, who have lost 13 of their past 17 games.

Brandon Crawford (15 homers) and Posey (12) have spearheaded the power surge, but the Giants are also getting timely blasts from players like Duggar and Wade, each of whom has already set a career high in home runs through the club’s first 68 games of the season.

Duggar left the yard for the second consecutive game and picked up his sixth home run of the year with a leadoff shot off Keury Mella in the fourth. Two batters later, Wade drove a sinker out into the left-center field bleachers for his fourth homer for the Giants. The two left-handed-hitting outfielders are making the case to stick around, even though the Giants are close to getting Alex Dickerson and Darin Ruf back from the injured list.

“I think they’re seeing balls up the strike zone and getting pitches they can handle,” Kapler said. “They’re attacking those pitches, and they’re elevating those pitches.”

The Giants also continued to receive valuable contributions from their bench, as Flores later came through with a two-run, pinch-hit homer off Ryan Buchter in the fifth. San Francisco now leads the Majors with eight pinch-hit homers this year, a sign of the club’s depth and the advance preparation that goes into setting up hitters to succeed in those spots.

“It’s never easy,” Flores said. “The only thing you have to do is try to have a good at-bat. In my mind, it’s never trying to hit a homer. It’s just to have a good at-bat. You only get one opportunity, and for me to do big things, I just think of having a good at-bat.”

Having taken the first three against the reeling D-backs, the Giants will aim to complete the four-game sweep when they send ace right-hander Kevin Gausman to the mound in Thursday afternoon’s series finale.


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