Giants, Dodgers' position players pitching makes odd history

Austin Slater pitching

The Giants (84-46) and Los Angeles Dodgers (82-49) own the two best records in the National League, but things didn't go well for the longtime rivals in their respective games Sunday.

The Giants lost 9-0 to the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park and the Dodgers were blanked 5-0 by the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Each situation got so bad for the Giants and Dodgers that both teams were forced to use a position player to pitch.

That doesn't happen every day. In fact, per Sportsradar's data which dates back to 1906, this is the first time during that time frame that the Giants and Dodgers have both used a position player to pitch on the same day.

Austin Slater -- not Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford, who both really want to pitch in a game -- drew the assignment against the Braves.

Slater, who has played 103 games in the outfield for the Giants this season, was tasked with getting the last out of the bottom of the eighth inning. He walked former Giants infielder Ehire Adrianza but then got reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman to fly out to left field.

While Giants manager Gabe Kapler has been hesitant to use Crawford or Belt on the mound due to their importance to the team, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts turned to Justin Turner, one of the team's longest-tenured players, to pitch against the Rockies.

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Turner got to pitch the entire top of the ninth inning, and gave up back-to-back singles to Trevor Story and C.J. Cron to begin the frame. But he settled down and retired the next three batters, stranding both baserunners.

Both Slater and Turner were making their first career MLB pitching appearances.

The Giants and Dodgers meet for the final time during the regular season beginning Friday at Oracle Park. The three-game series could go a long way to determining the winner of the NL West, and the Giants would love nothing more than to force Roberts to bring in another position player to pitch.

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