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What we learned in Giants' bounce-back win vs. Rangers

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Giants' Brandon Belt

SAN FRANCISCO -- It would be understandable if the Giants had some sort of a hangover after a weekend of intense baseball with the division rival San Diego Padres.

You could forgive them for a letdown with the relatively unknown Texas Rangers coming to town, but fiery Alex Wood wasn't about to let that happen.

Wood clawed his way through seven strong innings, pumping his fists and yelling on the mound and baffling the Rangers with his pace and his slider. He kept the Giants in the game until the offense woke up, and a late rally led to a 3-1 win.

The Rangers got two on with two outs in the ninth, but Jake McGee got a soft popup to end the game. The Giants improved to 13-4 at home this season and Wood got his record to 4-0.

Those are two fun facts, here are three more.

Wood You Look At That

Wood already was off to the kind of start the Giants haven't seen a whole lot in their franchise history. He was 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his first four starts, becoming just the third San Francisco Giants lefty to go 3-0 (or better) with an ERA under 2.00 in his first four starts with the team.

Start No. 5 was just as good as the rest.

Wood gave up one earned run in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 1.80. He got in a couple of jams but induced two well-timed double plays and turned to his slider to get out of his toughest spot. Wood walked a pair with one out in the sixth, but he threw a perfect back-foot slider to strike out Adolis Garcia and then struck out Joey Gallo on another good slider. Wood threw his putaway pitch 33 times and got 11 swinging strikes.


Tied At The Top

Brandon Belt drove an 0-2 pitch out to left-center in the fourth for the first Giants hit and his eighth homer of the season. That tied him with Buster Posey for the team lead, and put him on pace for a career year in the power department.

Belt, somewhat infamously, has never reached 20 homers in a season, but if he stays healthy he should get there with room to spare. He's on pace for about 37 homers at the moment.

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Played It Perfectly

Asked before the game about Steven Duggar starting over Austin Slater, manager Gabe Kapler pointed out that the Rangers have a lot of lefties in their bullpen and he liked having a right-handed bench. Kapler proved to be kinda psychic.

The Giants used Austin Slater, Darin Ruf and Mauricio Dubon against lefty John King in the seventh, igniting a two-run rally that won the game.

Slater drew a two-out walk, Ruf singled to right, and Dubon fouled off five pitches before roping a single to left that brought Slater home when Khris Davis made a laughable throw back to the infield. A throwing error by former Giant Charlie Culberson brought Ruf home to make it 3-1.