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What we learned in Giants' impressive blowout win over Cubs

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La Stella celebrates

CHICAGO -- When you're on pace to win 105 games, the last days of the regular season are going to include a lot of team records or "first time since ..." moments. The Giants are hitting that point already.

With Saturday's 15-4 blowout of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field they reached 47 road wins, the second-most since the franchise moved to San Francisco. This is just the third time in the last 53 seasons that the Giants have won more than 45 road games, and with seven remaining, this group has a chance to match the SF-era record of 53 road wins, set in 1993. 

The Giants have built an offense that even makes Oracle Park look small, so a lot of these road games have turned into laughers. They scored five runs in the second inning Saturday and then really broke the game open in the fifth with a six-run rally highlighted by Tommy La Stella's three-run blast off the video board in right field. La Stella became just the fifth player this season to smash a homer off that board, which prevents balls with that trajectory from landing on Sheffield Avenue.

The Giants will go for a sweep -- and a perfect 6-0 road trip -- on Sunday. They'll have their new ace, Logan Webb, on the mound. 

The Captain

With the Giants leading by a run and two on in the second inning, Brandon Belt hit a deep fly ball down the right field line that curled foul before bouncing entirely out of Wrigley Field. He straightened it up later in the at-bat. A blast to dead center effectively put the game away and gave Belt 23 homers for the year, five more than his previous career-high.

 

Belt's 23 homers are the most by a Giant since Hunter Pence hit 27 in 2013, and given how Belt tends to pick them up in bunches, he has a shot at reaching that mark with 20 games to go. The Giants have had just a dozen players reach 20 homers over the last decade, including three this season -- Belt, Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski. With his next blast, Belt will tie Buster Posey (24 in 2012) for the second-most home runs by a Giant since they won the 2010 title. 

Good Gaus

The Cubs put two runners in scoring position with no outs in the first, but Kevin Gausman held them to one run. Some bad luck pushed a couple more runs across in the third. Ian Happ hit a two-out fly ball to the track in center that Yastrzemski misjudged on a windy day, allowing it to drop for a triple. Happ scored a batter later on an infield single. That was it for the home team, though. 

Gausman made it through six on a hot day in Chicago, walking none and striking out nine. He joined Zack Wheeler and Max Scherzer as the only pitchers in the National League to reach 200 strikeouts, and he became the only Giant other than Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija to do it in the last decade. 

Welcome Back

Kris Bryant wasn't the only one returning to Wrigley this weekend. La Stella played four seasons here and was part of the 2016 championship team, and he certainly looked right at home on Saturday. La Stella has been slumping lately but manager Gabe Kapler kept him atop the lineup and it paid off.

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La Stella had three hits, three runs and drove in a career-high five. He had previously had four four-RBI games in the big leagues. La Stella had seven total bases, his most as a Giant.

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