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What we learned as Giants beat Rangers behind late homers

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Brandon Crawford

The Giants' first-ever game at Globe Life Field in Arlington proved to be one to remember for Mike Tauchman and Brandon Crawford. 

Tauchman, mired in an awful three-week slump, busted out in a big way in the eighth inning, hitting a screamer into the right-field seats for his first career grand slam. The stunning blast turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead, and the Giants ended up with a 9-4 win over the Texas Rangers after Crawford hit his second homer of the night. 

This one was tense for seven innings, but ended up being a laugher for the Giants, who have won all three games against the Rangers this season and are 38-22 through 60 games.

The Giants missed a golden opportunity to come back in the seventh when Austin Slater and Buster Posey struck out against a left-handed reliever with runners on the corners, but the lineup's lefties came through an inning later with the Giants trailing by a pair. 

Brandon Belt hit a leadoff single, Crawford walked and Steven Duggar walked to load the bases. Tauchman was just 6-for-41 over his previous 17 games and had particularly struggled against right-handers, but he got a low 96 mph from Josh Sborz and yanked it just over the wall in right. The ball was hit 108 mph and never seemed to get more than about 30 feet off the ground.

All night long, it was looking like the Giants would end up regretting how many they left on base, but Tauchman's slam handed a lead to Jake McGee and Dominic Leone, who closed out the first game of the road trip. Here are three more things to know:


Career-High Pace

On the night he set a franchise record by playing in his 1,326th game at shortstop, Crawford crushed a fastball into the home bullpen in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie. It was his 13th homer of the year and he added a three-run insurance shot in the ninth to get to 14. He has just one previous big league season of more than 14 homers, but did hit exactly 14 in 2017 and 2018. 

Crawford is easily on pace to smash his previous career-high of 21 homers in 2015, and he continues to stay near the top of the NL leaderboard. He's tied for fourth, trailing just Ronald Acuna (18), Fernando Tatis Jr. (17) and Jesse Winker (17). 

With his fifth career multi-homer game and two additional walks, Crawford raised his OPS to .938. His previous best is .792 from last season. 

Looking For His Old Form

Alex Wood was dominant in his first seven starts but allowed 11 earned runs over his previous two. Tuesday night's outing wasn't bad, but it wasn't a step back toward that early action. 

Wood was charged with four earned in 5 1/3 innings, with uncharacteristic wildness being the story of his night. He worked out of plenty of jams, getting four double plays in his first five innings, but the Rangers knocked him out in the sixth. The inning started with a walk to the No. 9 hitter and Wood issued another walk two batters later. Both runners came around to score on doubles. In all, Wood walked three, hit one and allowed a no-doubter to Joey Gallo. 

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Get One Back, Lose Another?

It seems the Giants will never be fully healthy. They got Belt back in the lineup and at first base, but after just one at-bat as DH, Alex Dickerson was replaced by Jason Vosler. Dickerson winced while striking out and the Giants later said he had back tightness, which has to be a bit concerning given that Dickerson dealt with a lot of back issues early in his career. 

In his first game back, Belt had three hits and a walk.

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