NBC Sports

What we learned as Giants take first game of Bay Bridge Series

NBC Sports
Johnny Cueto

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time in 21 months, Oracle Park went back to normal. The Giants drew 36,928 on Friday night, including the mayors of San Francisco and Oakland and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris, who grew up in the East Bay but repped orange and black in his seat behind the plate.

It was a somewhat split crowd, with plenty of A's fans filling the seats in every deck and out in the bleachers. The Giants made sure their fans were the ones who went home happy.

Johnny Cueto had one of his best starts of the year, the Giants scratched across an early run and got a second one from Curt Casali, and Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee cruised to the finish line.

With a 2-0 win over the A's, the Giants won for the ninth time in 10 games. They're 23 games above .500. Here are three more things to know:

Loving the Spotlight

Cueto was the perfect person to have on the mound when the ballpark opened back up to full capacity. He feeds off a crowd, and with the ballpark buzzing, he came up huge in a couple of tight early spots. 

The A's loaded the bases ahead of 20-homer-hitter Matt Olson in the third, but Cueto got Olson to fly out to center to end the inning. Two innings later, they put two on ahead of Matt Chapman and Olson. Cueto blew a high fastball past Chapman and then did the same to Olson, celebrating the inning-ending strikeout with a low spin on the mound. 


Cueto didn't face any other trouble, cruising through the seventh. He walked off the mound and nodded as he was showered with cheers, saluting the crowd as he descended the dugout steps. Cueto allowed five hits, walked one and struck out six. He lowered his ERA to 3.63. 

Gutting It Out

Wilmer Flores' hamstring flared up on Tuesday night and he's clearly bothered as he runs. Flores hobbled into second base when he doubled off Manaea in the fourth, but he got a great jump on Brandon Crawford's two-out flare to left and was waved home by Ron Wotus. Left fielder Tony Kemp didn't charge the ball and Flores gave the Giants the lead without drawing a throw. 

The RBI was the 50th of the season for Crawford, who became the fifth player in the NL to reach that mark. Only old friend Adam Duvall (53) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (52) sit ahead of Crawford. 

RELATED: Giants have 'concerns' as Belt hits IL; Wade Jr. recalled


Can't Stop Curt

The Giants had to scratch Buster Posey about 90 minutes before first pitch because of back tightness, but Casali provided exactly what the Giants would have hoped for from Posey. 

The veteran backup was in lockstep with Cueto and provided an insurance run in the seventh, blasting a Cam Bedrosian pitch over the wall in left-center. The homer was Casali's second of the year; they have come over his last three starts. After starting the year in a brutal slump, Casali is 8-for-19 with five runs and five RBI since coming off the IL.

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast