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What we learned as Giants set franchise homer record in win

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DENVER -- The Giants set a franchise record for homers in a season on Saturday night and got their 101st win, but the most important number at the end of the night was six. 

That's the magic number after a 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies that came shortly after the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 7-2 to the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks. With seven games to go in the regular season, the Giants once again have a two-game lead in the NL West. 

The fourth win in five games on this road trip came with a familiar formula: The Giants followed their captain. Brandon Belt hit two homers and drove in the first four runs of the game and Steven Duggar and Mike Yastrzemski tacked on helpful insurance runs in the eighth. Dominic Leone loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but somehow escaped without allowing a run.

The win was the 52nd this season on the road, the third-most in franchise history. The Giants will go for a second consecutive sweep at Coors Field on Sunday behind Denver-area native Kevin Gausman.

Here are three more things to know from a good night for the organization's NL West hopes: 

Make Him An Admiral

Belt got the Giants on the board with a towering homer in the first and gave them the lead with an equally impressive three-run shot in the fifth. This was his eighth career multi-homer game and third this season, and continued an absolutely ridiculous second half.


Belt's career-high for homers was 18 coming into this year, but he has 18 in this second half alone, including nine in his last 19 games. He became the first Giants first baseman to hit at least 28 homers since J.T. Snow in 1997, and joined Barry Bonds as the only Giants, period, to do it since 2002. 

Belt missed too many games to truly be in the MVP race, but he's been as good as just about anyone in the NL over the last month. He entered the night fourth in the league in OPS since August 24, trailing just Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Paul Goldschmidt.

Passing Bonds & Friends

The Giants entered this series needing six homers to set a new franchise record for a single season and they got there in just 14 innings. They hit four on Friday and then got two in Belt's first three at-bats Saturday. 

Belt's second blast gave them 236 for the season, one more than the 2001 team led by Barry Bonds. The Toronto Blue Jays (who have a full-time DH) have 246, but the closest National League team is the Atlanta Braves down at 231. With seven games left, the Giants have a chance to get to 250, which would put them in very exclusive company.

Only three NL teams have ever hit 250 homers in a season, and all three (the Dodgers, Cubs and Brewers) did it in 2019. It, uhh, appears the ball might have been a little juiced that season. The NL record -- 279 by the Dodgers -- is well out of reach. Maybe next year? 

Short Work

The Giants hoped to put less pressure on the bullpen when Alex Wood returned and Scott Kazmir was added, giving them a five-man rotation once again. That hasn't at all happened. Anthony DeSclafani went four innings, becoming the fifth consecutive Giants starter to record exactly 12 outs.

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This is still easier than having two bullpen games a week, but it hasn't exactly been ideal.

DeSclafani was pulled for pinch-hitter Donovan Solano after throwing 77 pitches on Saturday. He allowed five hits, two runs and walked three. The move did end up boosting the offense. Donovan Solano pinch-hit and got drilled, and he scored a few minutes later on Belt's homer.

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