It took only three games for Gabe Kapler to get introduced to some good old-fashioned Giants torture. The Giants played solid baseball for seven innings, wobbled late and escaped with a 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium.
Trevor Gott entered with a two-run lead in the ninth and immediately gave up a solo shot, but he got two flyouts and a grounder to clinch the victory. The win was Kapler's first with the Giants and somewhat righted the ship after two ugly nights at Dodger Stadium. Here are three things you need to know:
Path to the Win
The Giants felt their somewhat-anonymous bullpen could be pretty good, but the first two nights were rough. Saturday was more what they had in mind.
Caleb Baragar made his MLB debut in the fifth, getting three outs from Max Muncy and Mookie Betts thanks to some more iffy baserunning from the Dodgers. He came back out for a very impressive sixth, getting fly outs from Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager and striking out Justin Turner. Austin Slater helped him out with a catch as he crashed into the left field wall.
Shaun Anderson was nasty in the seventh, striking out three of the four batters he faced. He hit 97 with his fastball and threw a particularly nasty 89 mph slider to get Joc Pederson.
It got shaky in the eighth, but Tyler Rogers got Kiké Hernandez to ground out with the bases loaded. Gott closed it out for his second career save.
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A Different Look
It actually didn’t help the Giants much when Clayton Kershaw got scratched Thursday and was replaced by righty Dustin May, because right now this team is better equipped to hit lefties. The righty-heavy lineup that was sent out against Alex Wood actually looked pretty frisky.
Slater led off the game with a walk and scored on Darin Ruf’s hard single. Wilmer Flores made it 3-1 with a solo shot off Wood in the third.
The right-handers kept the good vibes going when righty Dennis Santana came in, adding two runs on Donovan Solano’s double.
The Giants couldn’t have asked for much more from Logan Webb, the second-year pitcher who has been a bulk-innings choice for Kapler. Webb pitched into the fifth, giving up one run on six hits. He struck out two.
Webb was in the middle of a storm in the second when the Dodgers loaded the bases ahead of Betts. But Webb got him to fly out to shallow center to end the inning. Flores helped him in the third by making a twisting catch on a flare and starting a double play.
Webb became the first Giants “starter” to take the mound in the fifth this year.