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What we learned as Bellinger's error keys Giants win vs. LA

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Buster Posey scores

SAN FRANCISCO -- There were only 32,878 fans at Oracle Park for the first game of another huge series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it was a loud crowd, one that brought a playoff vibe in the late innings. It was no surprise, then, that the Giants scored the winning run on a throwing error by an opposing player.

Cody Bellinger's airmailed throw was the difference in a 2-1 win over the Dodgers that moved the Giants back to three games up in the NL West standings. The RTI came in the eighth inning and handed a lead over to Jake McGee, who recorded his 21st save. 

Unlike last week's games at Dodger Stadium, this was a low-scoring affair. 

The Giants gave up a run in the fifth but got it back an inning later when Austin Slater doubled and Buster Posey lined a Julio Urias 96 mph fastball back up the middle. Urias would last just two more batters despite having a low pitch count, turning this one into another bullpen battle between the two best teams in the National League. 

The Dodgers looked like they would strike in the eighth when Chris Taylor hit a double off the center field wall, putting two runners in scoring position for Max Muncy and Justin Turner. 

That's as tight as a spot gets, but Tyler Rogers got out of the jam. Muncy hit a slow roller to first and Darin Ruf came home with it, nailing the lead runner at the plate. Turned flied out to right to end the inning. The usually stoic Rogers flashed a quick fist pump. 

 

The Giants looked like they might run into their own rally-killing out in the bottom of the eighth, but Bellinger's mistake pushed the go-ahead run across. With two on and no outs, Ruf hit a slow roller to first. Bellinger took the throw and got one out at first before trying to nail Posey as he retreated to third. His throw sailed into the net and Oracle Park roared as Posey ran home. 

Building Back Up

Logan Webb didn't allow a hit until Cody Bellinger poked one through the shift in the fifth, and that ended up leading to the only run on his line. Billy McKinney followed two batters later with a single to the gap in right-center that brought Bellinger home. 

Webb ended up going six, his longest outing since he came off the Injured List. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five. In four starts since coming back, Webb has allowed just four runs in 18 innings.

The Giants want to add starting pitching before Friday's trade deadline but Webb certainly deserves to stay in the rotation with the way he's pitching right now. 

Red-Hot Jarlin

Jarlin Garcia pitched the seventh inning and worked around a two-out double, getting out of the jam when McKinney grounded out to shortstop Thairo Estrada. It was the latest in a long stretch of dominant outings that have moved Garcia up just behind Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers on the bullpen's depth chart.

Garcia entered the night with a 1.48 ERA over his previous 22 outings, with 27 strikeouts in those 24 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out one in the scoreless seventh. Garcia got off to a brutal start in April but went on the IL for 11 games to let a groin strain fully heal. He has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since returning.

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Get Back To Full Strength

The Giants plan to send Brandon Belt on a rehab assignment Thursday, and Tommy La Stella and Evan Longoria should also be back in the next 10 days. Getting those three -- along with Brandon Crawford -- back will allow them to play the matchups more often, which could be especially huge in left field. 

LaMonte Wade Jr. got the start out there against Urias despite the fact that he entered the night 0-for-29 against left-handed pitchers. Manager Gabe Kapler said Wade had earned the opportunity, but he struck out in two at-bats against Urias. 

The Giants will stick to Wade's strengths when they get everyone back, likely just having him lead off against every righty. Wade entered the night with a 1.044 OPS against right-handers this season.