Derek Holland deals, Giants erupt in sixth to escape Marlins and secure series win

Derek Holland deals, Giants erupt in sixth to escape Marlins and secure series win


SAN FRANCISCO — The most dramatic series of the season -- for mostly the wrong reasons -- ended with a handshake line. 

Derek Holland was solid, the lineup broke through against hard-throwing righty Jose Ureña late, and the bullpen escaped -- barely -- in a 6-5 win. After losing the series opener, and their closer, on Monday night, the Giants took the next two from the pesky Marlins. The end came with more drama. Sam Dyson, in his second save opportunity since taking over, was pulled after giving up two runs and putting the tying run on second. Reyes Moronta closed it out. 

Here’s how the rest of it went down ... 

— This game started with more bad injury news in a season full of it. Alen Hanson, a revelation as a utility infielder and fill-in, fouled a ball off his knee in the bottom of the first and crumpled to the dirt. He had to be helped off the field by trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy. Hanson was diagnosed with a left knee contusion. 

— Gorkys Hernandez is playing through some serious rib discomfort, but that didn’t keep him from winning an epic battle with Jose Ureña in the sixth. On the 14th pitch of the at-bat, Hernandez looped a two-run single into right to give the Giants a five-run inning and 5-1 lead. Earlier in the inning, Brandon Belt had roped a game-tying double to right-center. 

— Holland walked off to a standing ovation after giving the Giants some length. Tony Watson cashed in two of his runs; Holland was charged with three earned in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two. 

— Bochy loves Ty Blach in a “do everything” bullpen role, and on this day that meant being the setup man. Blach had a perfect eighth inning, holding a two-run lead. His last three outings: 6 2/3 relief innings last Thursday; a scoreless sixth inning to hold a lead last night; a scoreless eighth today. 

MLB rumors: Giants place Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers

MLB rumors: Giants place Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers

NEW YORK — The Giants did not sell at the trade deadline, preferring to give a .500 roster a few more weeks to try and climb into the race. It appears the weekend in Cincinnati finally led to some decisions from the front office. 

According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the Giants have placed Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers, potentially clearing the way for a trade over the coming days. McCutchen is only owed about $3 million at this point and could be a fit for a contending team looking for outfield help down the stretch. If McCutchen is claimed, the Giants will have little leverage in negotiations, but they should be able to salvage a prospect or two in exchange for a player who will be a free agent at the end of the season. 

The interest in McCutchen at the deadline wasn’t enough to have the Giants seriously consider a deal, but his numbers have ticked up a bit in the second half. Trading McCutchen would serve multiple purposes. The veteran could potentially find himself in a playoff race, in search of his first ring. For the Giants, a deal would clear salary space and get them further from the tax line, and potentially allow for more September call-ups. It also would clear playing time in the outfield, allowing Austin Slater to play every day, or Chris Shaw to get an audition over the final month. 

The Giants have avoided any talk of putting up the white flag, but they were swept over the weekend in Cincinnati and have not had the road trip they had hoped. They won 2-1 Tuesday, but still will face Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in this series. 

Pitching, timely Mets error help Giants snap four-game skid

Pitching, timely Mets error help Giants snap four-game skid

NEW YORK — When reporters walked into his office a few minutes before midnight, Giants manager Bruce Bochy looked up, the fatigue clear in his eyes.

“We win?” he asked.

Bochy was joking, but there was a moment in Monday’s 2-1 win over the Mets where he couldn’t believe his team had taken the lead. After several wasted opportunities, the Giants appeared poised to fail to capitalize on the leadoff batter reaching third in the 13th. With two outs, Brandon Crawford popped up to shallow left. Bochy turned to pitching coach Curt Young and told him that Casey Kelly, Wednesday’s starter, had to begin warming up.

Bochy thought the inning was over. 

But the Mets are the Mets for a reason.

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith collided and the pop-up dropped, allowing the winning run to score. On a night when they stranded nine runners, went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and had a two-on no-outs failure early on that was one of the worst of the season, the Giants won.

“It’s good to get a break,” Bochy said. “We had our struggles there in some pretty good situations where we just needed to hit a groundball. We had a hard time. We had a tough time getting the big hit. We got a break and you take it.”

For all the lineup did wrong, the pitching deserved this win. Six relievers followed Derek Holland and threw eight shutout innings. Reyes Moronta was not supposed to be used, but he contributed an inning. Mark Melancon pitched two innings for the first time as a Giant. Derek Law pitched two his first night back. In the end, Hunter Strickland was the last one left in the bullpen, and he was only available for three outs because he had pitched back-to-back games.

The timing of the error was perfect, then. Holland smiled when asked what his reaction was in the clubhouse.

“I can’t say the word,” he said. “It’s just crazy how it happened.”