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What we learned in Giants' series-opening win over Pirates

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The Giants are off to a great start, but there's been one blemish on their record so far. They flew East with an 8-10 record away from Oracle Park, and also the knowledge that this eight-game road trip provides a good opportunity to change that. 

The first night of the trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati was a success, as the Giants won 3-1 behind good pitching and one strong inning at the plate. The win was the fifth in six games and pushed the Giants a season-high nine games over .500

This one was a fast-paced pitcher's duel between Anthony DeSclafani and rookie Wil Crowe until the fifth, when Steven Duggar's homer jump-started a Giants rally. 

With a decision to pull DeSclafani early, Gabe Kapler put some pressure on his bullpen, and the group responded. Camilo Doval gave up a solo homer but that was it.

Here are three things to know ... 

Bold Call 

DeSclafani gave up one hit but lasted just five innings, through no fault of his own. With the Giants holding a 3-0 lead and two on against a lefty reliever in the sixth, manager Gabe Kapler took a shot to blow the game wide open. Darin Ruf pinch-hit for DeSclafani but grounded out to short. 

DeSclafani threw just 76 pitches, lowering his ERA to 2.14 with the five shutout frames. He struck out five and walked one. This was DeSclafani's eighth start of the season and he has allowed zero runs in three of them. 

Back on the Board

Duggar is the fastest player on the roster, but he got to go back into a slow trot in the top of the fifth. Duggar yanked a low fastball into the seats in right-center to break a scoreless tie and get his first big league homer since June 11, 2019. 

 

The blast was well-timed, and not just because it gave the Giants a lead. With LaMonte Wade Jr. back on the roster and Donovan Solano getting close to being ready, the Giants will soon need to get rid of an outfielder. Duggar has played good baseball during this latest call-up, and his homer came from an unexpected opportunity. Duggar wasn't originally in the lineup but Brandon Belt was scratched with side tightness. 

After the homer, the Giants scored a second run when Mike Tauchman danced off third and forced a throwing error. Mike Yastrzemski's triple made it 3-0. 

RELATED: What Giants' hot start to season means for playoff odds

 

Secret Star

The box score says Tauchman had a forgettable day: One for five, one run, one strikeout. But Tauchman, the leadoff hitter on this night, probably got a lot of praise from the coaching staff in the dugout and after the game. 

Tauchman saw 30 pitches in his five plate appearances, including 17 his first two times up against Crowe, who was otherwise cruising through the lineup. He fouled off nine pitches on the night. The newest addition is a grinder, and that fits right in with this group. 

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