Giants clinch first winning road trip since last summer

Giants clinch first winning road trip since last summer


SAN FRANCISCO — The Diamondbacks had the pitcher’s spot due up fourth in the bottom of the seventh Sunday, but they still brought Archie Bradley, their best reliever, into the game in the top of the inning for just one out. They really, really wanted Bradley to face the heart of the Giants’ order in the eighth. The plan backfired. 

Evan Longoria took Bradley deep to dead center at Chase Field, giving the Giants a one-run lead that held up. A 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks clinched a 4-2 road trip, their first winning trip since last summer. 

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Sam Dyson got Ketel Marte to fly out to left. Will Smith closed it out in the ninth. Here's what else you need to know ... 

— Longoria was 11-for-27 on the road trip with five extra-base hits, including two homers. He’s 15-for-42 since coming off the disabled list. 

— Derek Holland didn’t allow five runs in the first inning, which was an improvement over the previous two Giants starters. He had another good one, allowing two earned in 5 1/3 innings. Since returning to the rotation, Holland has given up five earned in three starts. 

— Andrew McCutchen reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances before Bradley caught him looking to end the seventh inning. McCutchen went 5-for-5 on Saturday night and walked, singled and walked in his first three plate appearances on Sunday. 

— Ray Black pitched a perfect seventh. He’s up to 10 1/3 consecutive hitless innings. 

How Giants kept rolling, walked off Mets in most bizarre way possible

How Giants kept rolling, walked off Mets in most bizarre way possible

SAN FRANCISCO -- About 40 minutes after the final pitch Friday, with the grounds crew cleaning up and the lights slowly turning off, a group of kids took to left field at Oracle Park. As they waited for their parents -- Giants players -- to finish up, the kids threw a ball around and made diving catches. 

Those kids probably would have handled the final moments of Friday's game better than the New York Mets did. 

In one of the most bizarre finishes you'll ever see, the Mets badly butchered a routine fly ball to left, allowing Alex Dickerson to race all the way around from first and clinch a 1-0 extra-innings win. It was the seventh straight win for the Giants and their 14th in 16 games. It gave them a .500 record for the first time this season. 

The way it happened, well, you just kind of have to watch it ... 

As bad as the Mets Mets-ed, the Giants did certainly take advantage, and that's what you have to do. Ron Wotus had a good send, and Dickerson was running hard the whole way. 

"Right as I was crossing second I took a peak at the left fielder and he looked tentative," Dickerson said after the game. "I know I've been in that situation before. Once you're tentative on those balls anything can happen. I was going as hard as I could, and once it dropped I was going to do everything I could to head home." 

There was another hero, too. None of this would have been possible without Tyler Beede, who cruised through eight innings in the longest start of his career and allowed the Giants to keep breathing on a night when Mets ace Jacob deGrom was his usual dominant self. 

[RELATED: Four Giants prospects crack Baseball America Top 100]

Beede needed just 89 pitches to get through eight innings before retreating to the clubhouse where he watched the end with injured third baseman Evan Longoria. Their TV feed was delayed, but they could hear the screams echo through the park and knew something weird had happened as they watched Pablo Sandoval's fly ball appeared to harmlessly sail into the night. A few moments later, players came streaming through the door to celebrate. 

"Well, we got a break," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You take it."

What a difference a year has made for suddenly dominant Tyler Beede


What a difference a year has made for suddenly dominant Tyler Beede

SAN FRANCISCO -- Last July 19, Tyler Beede came out of the bullpen for the Sacramento River Cats, taking over for top pitching prospect Shaun Anderson in the bottom of the sixth. He gave up a single and then walked two, getting pulled after recording just one out. 

Beede threw 18 pitches that night and just eight found the strike zone. Exactly a year later, he threw 89 while pitching through the eighth inning of a big league game for the first time. Sixty-two of them were strikes. 

It's a dramatic difference, but for Beede the renaissance actually started in those bullpen sessions. He focused on repeating good habits, and after getting a bit leaner in the offseason, he continued to work on repeating his delivery. The confidence came quickly.  

"As I look back to a year ago, yeah I was in the 'pen and things weren't going great statistically, but I started to over time make better habits," Beede said after a 1-0 win over the Mets. "The season didn't end great but I still felt confident in what I was doing, and then going into the offseason I made some changes that made me more efficient.

"I think it's just been a matter of shifting my focus to 'hey, attack' instead of trying to make perfect pitches. I think it's always been in me to have great command. I look back to high school and parts of college where I was dominant because I was attacking guys. It's not like I've never been a good command guy, so I think it was just getting that shift of focus. My stuff is good, I've known that, let's just go after guys."

Beede went after the Mets from the start, keeping pace with reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who threw seven shutout innings on his end. This is something he couldn't have done last season, or maybe even earlier this year, but Beede's confidence has grown and he has put together a recent streak that matches the team's. 

Beede allowed three hits and struck out five Friday, walking just one. In his last three starts he has a 1.66 ERA in 21 2/3 innings, with just one walk to 16 strikeouts. 

"It was fun to watch," manager Bruce Bochy said, smiling. "It's fun to watch his progress and his development and how his game has grown."