SAN DIEGO -- On Tuesday night, manager Gabe Kapler had an opportunity to send Austin Slater up for LaMonte Wade Jr. with lefty Tim Hill on the mound for the San Diego Padres. He stuck with Wade, and two innings later he got the go-ahead hit for the Giants.
On Thursday, Kapler did pull the trigger in the top of the sixth with Hill again on the mound. Once again, it worked out beautifully for the Giants.
Austin Slater pinch-hit for Wade with two runners on and yanked a 109.9 mph homer down the left field line, briefly giving the Giants the lead. It was the 17th pinch-hit homer of the season for the Giants, tying the MLB record set by the 2016 St. Louis Cardinals.
Slater now has three pinch-hit homers, tied with Alex Dickerson for the team lead. Brandon Belt, Wilmer Flores and Donovan Solano have each done it twice.
The Giants are the only team with more than 10 pinch-hit homers this season and are tied with the Mets for the lead with 47 RBI. Kapler has had plenty of opportunities to perfect his mix. The Giants have pinch-hit 321 times this season, by far the most in the big leagues.