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What we learned as Giants sweep Cubs, go 6-0 on road trip

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Bryant and Flores

CHICAGO -- The Giants have much bigger goals at this point than just simply clinching a playoff spot, but it's still been five years since they've played in the postseason, and they have a chance to end that bitter streak Monday night. 

The bullpen held on in the late innings Sunday for a 6-5 win over the Cubs that capped off a perfect 6-0 road trip through Denver and Chicago. The sweep at Wrigley Field was particularly noteworthy, as it was the first by the Giants in Chicago since 1995. 

The win, coupled with Cincinnati's second loss of the weekend, dropped the magic number for the postseason to just one. With a win on Monday night against the San Diego Padres, the Giants will have clinched at least an NL Wild Card spot. 

This one looked like it would be another blowout early on, but the Cubs kept trying to come back in the late innings. The drama extended to the ninth, when Patrick Wisdom doubled with one out. Jake McGee got a couple of grounders to get out of the jam, though, getting the Giants to 93-50 on the season. 

Flo Show

The Giants flew Wilmer Flores from San Francisco to San Francisco just to have him in the lineup on Sunday, and it was certainly worth it. Flores had hits in his first three at-bats, including an RBI single in the second that gave the Giants the lead and a two-run homer in the fifth that padded it after the Cubs had made things close. 

 

Flores seems to not need much work at all to get his timing back. He also had a three-hit game the last time he came off the IL. The homer was Flores' 18th of the season, tying the career-high he set with the New York Mets in 2017. 

Rollercoaster Day

The box score says Logan Webb gave up five runs -- four earned -- in six innings, in what was his first start of more than three runs since May 5 at Coors Field. But the box score doesn't tell the story of how sharp Webb was early on.

The young right-hander got through three perfect innings on just 27 pitches, and he already had four strikeouts by that point. One of them was particularly nasty: 

The trouble started in the fourth when Rafael Ortega hit a liner to deep center that Austin Slater lost in the sun. It was ruled a triple, and while the official scorekeeper at Wrigley Field took another look at it to see if it was possibly an error, Webb gave up a couple of runs and a legitimate hit. Ian Happ's homer to straightaway center got the Cubs within a run. 

Webb ran into more trouble later in his outings, although he wasn't done any favors by his outfield defense on this day. Tyler Rogers helped limit the damage, striking out three while allowing a couple of hits and stranding the tying run on base after he took over for Webb in the seventh. 

Homecoming Weekend

The lengthy pregame ceremony on Friday brought Kris Bryant to tears and he said afterward that it was hard to focus on baseball the rest of that game. He never had a signature moment in his return, but he did have a pretty solid weekend -- with the exception of some miscommunication in right-center on Sunday. 

Bryant finished 4-for-12 with five runs scored and a walk over the three games, and he had a couple of hits and runs at the heart of an all-righty lineup on Sunday. As with the rest of the weekend, Bryant got a loud ovation before every at-bat.

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