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What we learned as Giants take series finale vs. Padres

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Mike Tauchman celebrates homer

Thanks to their ace and the new guy, the Giants avoided a sweep at Petco Park. 

Kevin Gausman went six strong and Mike Tauchman provided the necessary offense with a three-run blast as the Giants beat Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres 7-1, salvaging the final game of a three-game series. The left San Diego half a game ahead of the Dodgers and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Padres in the NL West. 

This one was never really close. Tauchman gave the Giants an early lead and they tacked on with a rally that potentially could be costly down the line.

That's one of three things to know from this one ... 

Gaus-lamp Quarter 

The Giants bumped their ace back a couple of days because he felt some groin tightness, but Gausman didn't show any effects of that once he got on the mound. He gave up a solo homer to Fernando Tatis Jr. in the first inning but didn't allow another run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.04, which ranks seventh in the NL, one spot behind Anthony DeSclafani (2.00).

All three Giants starters went exactly six innings in their biggest test of the year and all three got quality starts. Against a Padres team at full strength, Gausman, DeSclafani and Logan Webb combined to allow seven earned in 18 innings. If they keep pitching like this, they're going to hang around the NL West race all summer. 

Something to Tauch About

Tauchman hit 13 homers for the Yankees in 2019, but he didn't have any in 52 games the previous two seasons and didn't have any since the end of 2019. Until the third inning, that is.

 

The Giants put a weird rally together, with Curt Casali drawing a walk and Gausman reaching when Joe Musgrove bobbled his bunt to the mound. A bloop tied the game, and Tauchman blew it open by jumping on a two-strike cutter and yanking it into the seats in right. The Giants scored six runs off Musgrove, who entered with a 1.24 ERA. 

Another One Down

Tommy La Stella has gotten off to a slow start, but he had a pair of hits Sunday, including an RBI triple in the top of the sixth that helped the Giants stretch the lead to five. That was the end of his day, though, and possibly his last at-bat for a bit.

La Stella ran home on a grounder later in the inning but appeared to feel something grab in one of his legs as he neared the plate. He limped off the field and immediately was replaced. The Giants entered the season with a ton of second base depth, but they're already without Donovan Solano, who has no timetable for a return as he deals with a calf strain. La Stella also has been their primary leadoff hitter against righties, so losing him for any time will be a blow.

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