Giants

Blach goes six innings, Giants outlast Tigers in Detroit

Blach goes six innings, Giants outlast Tigers in Detroit

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- This wasn't an ideal matchup for the San Francisco Giants - a rookie lefty against a Detroit lineup full of powerful right-handed hitters.

Ty Blach was up to the challenge.

Blach took a shutout into the seventh inning, and the Giants held off a late Detroit rally in beating the Tigers 5-4 on Wednesday night. Blach allowed only three hits in the first six innings.

"We just wanted to go out and attack those guys. Try to get ahead early and be able to change speeds, keep them off balance," Blach said. "We knew they were going to be aggressive, and we were able to do that."

The Giants led 5-0 before Detroit scored four times in the seventh. Blach (6-5) was pulled after allowing a two-run single to Victor Martinez, and San Francisco needed three relievers to get through the inning. The Giants used five relievers in all, with Hunter Strickland pitching the eighth and Sam Dyson finishing for his third save.

The last-place Giants have won seven of their last eight games - after losing 12 of 13 before that.

Daniel Norris (4-7) permitted five runs and seven hits in four innings.

"I don't know, mentally, physically, whatever, I've got to be able to get over that hump and make pitches when I have to," Norris said.

Blach won his second consecutive start following a rough stretch through the middle of June. He was charged with three of the runs in the seventh, but by then, the Giants already had a big enough lead.

San Francisco scored two in the third, and Brandon Belt added an RBI single in the fourth. Hunter Pence followed with a two-run triple off Norris, who has lost his last three starts.

Norris has given up five runs in each of those games.

"Clearly, we need better results," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It doesn't help us win games, and obviously it puts undue stress on the bullpen when they have to cover more innings."

The Giants nearly gave the whole lead away in the seventh. Miguel Cabrera singled to start the rally, and J.D. Martinez followed with a double. Victor Martinez's single made it 5-2, and George Kontos allowed a single to Mikie Mahtook.

Steven Okert struck out pinch-hitter Alex Avila, but Cory Gearrin came on and walked Jose Iglesias. With the bases loaded, Ian Kinsler hit a comebacker that bounced off Gearrin for a run-scoring single. A sacrifice fly by Nicholas Castellanos made it 5-4, but Justin Upton struck out to end the inning.

San Francisco leadoff man Gorkys Hernandez had three hits.

WINNING TRIP

The Giants are 4-1 on their six-game road trip. The win Wednesday assured San Francisco of its first winning record on a road trip since going 3-2 from June 29 to July 3 last year. And that road swing began with a "trip" across the bay to Oakland for two games. "It's been a rough go," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was a big win. It does secure a nice trip. We've got another big game, but it's just getting better all around."

ROSTER MOVES

Detroit activated OF Alex Presley from the seven-day concussion DL and designated OF Matt den Dekker for assignment. The Tigers also activated OF Jim Adduci from the seven-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo.

Detroit agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Alex Faedo, a right-hander who pitched at Florida.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (ribs, shoulder) allowed nine runs over four innings in a rehab start for Class A San Jose. He threw 76 pitches. ... 3B Conor Gillaspie (back) played in that game as well.

Tigers: Cabrera, who left Tuesday's game with left hip tightness, was in the starting lineup and had two hits.

UP NEXT

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (6-7) takes the mound in the series finale.

Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-0) tries for his third consecutive quality start.

Down on the Farm: Gio Brusa climbs up San Jose Giants record books

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Down on the Farm: Gio Brusa climbs up San Jose Giants record books

Gio Brusa has spent the past two season in San Jose with the Giants' Advanced Single-A team, finding mixed results at the plate. 

Brusa has struck out 258 times compared to 62 walks and has just a .296 on-base percentage on the dot in both 2017 and 2018. While his average has been low and his strikeouts high, Brusa is hitting home runs at a record pace. 

In San Jose's 8-1 win over the Inland Empire 66ers Tuesday night, Brusa hit his team-leading 18th home run, which is one more than he hit last season in 20 less games. The 25-year-old out of Lodi now has 35 home runs as a San Jose Giant, which ranks him sixth in team history. 

While Brusa has much more power hitting from the left side, he is the all-time team leader in career home runs as a switch hitter. 

From the left side, Brusa has 16 home runs in 290 at-bats this season. Batting right-handed, he has two more long balls in 68 at-bats. For his San Jose career, Brusa has hit 25 home runs left-handed and 10 right-handed. 

Power showed up for Brusa as a senior at the University of the Pacific in 2016. Playing left field for the Tigers, Brusa moved to first base this season, he combined for 11 home runs in his first three seasons. At the same, his slugging percentage kept rising from .387 to .406 to .527 as a junior. 

And then he completely broke out at the plate as a senior. 

In his final year at Pacific, Brusa led the Tigers in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBI while bashing 14 home runs, three more than the previous three seasons combined, as he slashed .337/.418/.614. That monster season turned into a sixth-round draft pick for the Giants. 

Since starting his professional career, Brusa is still searching for the consistency of his senior season as his power is on full display in record-setting ways. 

Brawl notes: Giants confused by Hundley's ejection, umpire explanation

Brawl notes: Giants confused by Hundley's ejection, umpire explanation

LOS ANGELES — When Major League Baseball eventually comes for the umpires, replacing them with pitch-tracking technology, perhaps they’ll explain the switch with a simple phrase.

“Watch the tape.”

That’s about all Eric Cooper had to say late Tuesday night when a pool reporter asked why Nick Hundley had been ejected despite not throwing any punches at Yasiel Puig. 

“Watch the tape,” Cooper said. “You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”

Well, not really. First of all, Hundley was wearing a catcher’s mask, so it was hard to tell what he was saying to Puig. Hundley and Puig went face-to-face, but it was Puig who twice shoved Hundley, with the catcher reaching out both times to block the move. The Giants were baffled that Hundley was ejected after a long conversation between the umpires. 

“I don’t get it, either, to be honest,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ll see what the (umpires) report says. You’re going to defend yourself.”

Hundley said he’s not concerned about any discipline from the league.

“I was defending myself. He was defending himself. I don’t see why it should go any further than that,” he said. 

--- This fight escalated quickly but there wasn’t actually much action, with one exception. As Hundley was being held back, Puig ran back in, threw a few teammates out of the way, and tried to punch Hundley. He ended up slapping his mask with an open hand as Hundley was being held back. 

“I saw him coming,” Hundley said. “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to defend myself in that spot, being tangled up with someone else. The league will look at that. That’s something that’s up to the league to discipline somebody. That’s not my job to enforce any behavioral things.”

--- Hundley was held back, and essentially tackled, by first base coach George Lombard. He later came out onto the top step of the dugout and had a brief conversation with Lombard. Hundley said he was checking to make sure Lombard didn’t get hurt in the altercation. 

--- Lost in all that, Andrew Suarez had his best start in over a month. Suarez gave up some loud contact, but threw six shutout innings. He got all four strikeouts with his fastball and said that was the plan. 

“I’ve noticed a lot of teams are spitting on my sliders lately,” he said. 

Suarez went heavy with the heater in two-strike counts and had a big night. He also won bragging rights. Suarez and Manny Machado have been playing on the same fields since they were eight, and while Machado hit the ball hard twice, he didn’t get a hit off Suarez.