Crawford continues power surge, lifts Giants past Cubs

Brandon Crawford runs bases

Brandon Crawford has no intentions of cooling off anytime soon.

The veteran shortstop continued his remarkable 2021 MLB season Thursday night by hitting his team-leading 12th homer and driving in four runs to power the Giants to a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in the series opener at Oracle Park.

Crawford's three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning gave the Giants a 5-2 lead and that was more than enough run support for starter Anthony DeSclafani.

With the win, the Giants moved to 35-21 on the season and maintain their lead over the San Diego Padres atop the NL West.

The Cubs came into Thursday's game having won 14 of their last 17, but the Giants weren't intimidated. DeSclafani gave up two runs in the third inning, but settled in after that and shut down Chicago's lineup.

In six innings, DeSclafani allowed four hits, two earned runs and struck out four. He didn't walk any Cubs batters, earned his fifth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.51.

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But the story of the game was Crawford, who drove in the first run of the game with a single in the second inning and also helped DeSclafani on defense, making a great barehanded play to throw out Kris Bryant in the top of the third inning.

The Giants are in first place through 56 games due to a lot of factors, but one of the main reasons has been the resurgence of Crawford, who's now slashing .255/.344/.529. If he keeps hitting like this, the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers will have a hard time overtaking the Giants in the standings.


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