Giants

Watch Alex Dickerson hit a grand slam in second at-bat with Giants

Watch Alex Dickerson hit a grand slam in second at-bat with Giants

It took just two at-bats, but Alex Dickerson is a Forever Giant.

OK, maybe not. But the 29-year-old outfielder is having a pretty good Giants debut.

In his first at-bat in the top of the second, he singled to center. In the top of the third, Dickerson came up with the bases loaded and he unloaded on a Taylor Clarke pitch, crushing a grand slam to right center field.

Dickerson's blast traveled 458 feet and gave the Giants a 6-0 lead.

The Giants recalled Dickerson from Triple-A Sacramento earlier on Friday after they placed center fielder Steven Duggar on the injured list.

We're going to go out on a limb and say the Giants are happy they decided to bring Dickerson up on Friday.

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski gets hot in Denver after nearly being demoted

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski gets hot in Denver after nearly being demoted

DENVER -- Nobody played more innings at Coors Field this week than Mike Yastrzemski, who started and finished both ends of a doubleheader Monday before going the distance in the final two games of the Giants' impressive sweep over the Rockies. 

It was impressive, particularly because Yastrzemski wasn't supposed to be in Denver at all. 

Faced with a roster crunch and a need for pitching, the Giants nearly optioned Yastrzemski back to Triple-A on Sunday. But then Alex Dickerson's back tightened up, Yastrzemski found himself back in the lineup, and he took off from there.

"It's not really up to me to make those decisions," Yastrzemski said. "But it freed me up to go out and play more aggressive and make something happen."

Yastrzemski certainly did so. He had two hits in Wednesday's 11-8 win over the Rockies and finished the four-game series with nine hits, six runs and seven RBI. Yastrzemski homered twice, getting to seven on the year. 

The four-game series was a rough one for the players physically. It was hot throughout and 95 degrees at first pitch on Wednesday. The oxygen tank in the dugout got plenty of use. 

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Yastrzemski, like everyone else, was tired by the end. He was also smiling. 

"The legs are heavy, but after a good win they feel a lot lighter," he said. "Especially after a sweep like that. You kind of forget how your body is feeling when you're doing well."

Giants finish off sweep of Rockies with key contributors not available

Giants finish off sweep of Rockies with key contributors not available

DENVER -- There was a point earlier this season when Giants manager Bruce Bochy joked about pulling names out of a hat to form the lineup. There was no correct combination, no matter how much time Bochy spent thinking about the right order. 

These days, there's no wrong answer.

The Giants were without key starters and the back end of their bullpen while playing a fourth game at Coors Field in three days, but they easily pulled off the sweep, winning 11-8 to finish off a 6-1 road trip through Milwaukee and Denver. 

"Each guy, no matter what the situation is, is stepping in and doing what he's supposed to do," said reliever Derek Holland, who played a key role. "Every guy is doing something that's helping this team win. The rotation is feeding off each other, same with the bullpen. And the offense, it's contagious."

The team-wide attack has the Giants back in the thick of the Wild Card race. They've won 12 of their last 14 games and continue to leapfrog others in a muddled National League. And they're doing it by using every inch of a revamped and improved roster. 

After playing Tuesday night, Buster Posey got the traditional rest for the ensuing day game. Stephen Vogt stepped in and hit a homer for the second consecutive start.

"I came (to San Francisco) to help give Buster a break," Vogt said. "My No. 1 job is to catch well. Everything I can do on offense is great. That's my job, is every time I play to help Buster keep his feet up as long as possible."

Brandon Crawford, who carried the heaviest load in Monday's doubleheader, got a day to catch his breath. Donovan Solano started at short and tied a career-high with four hits. He also homered and doubled twice, scoring two runs and driving two in. With Alex Dickerson getting a scheduled day off, Austin Slater chipped in two hits and a run.

"We stayed away from using our big guys," Bochy said, "And that was huge."

Bochy said before the game that Will Smith, Sam Dyson and Tony Watson were not available because of recent overuse, but that was no problem. When Shaun Anderson was pulled in the fifth, Derek Holland came in for 1 2/3 shutout innings before handing the baton to Reyes Moronta, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Andrew Suarez, a starter called up Tuesday, recorded five outs before the Rockies started storming back in the ninth. Mark Melancon closed it out. 

Holland had the biggest contribution, continuing his hot stretch out of the bullpen. Bochy called him "invaluable" and noted how durable Holland has been despite being used quite often. 

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Holland was one of several players to mention Wednesday how excited the Giants are to return home. He said he's fired up to see the crowds, and casually dropped in the fact that the dugout wouldn't mind if 40,000 picked up on Dickerson's nickname and the team's favorite chant. 

That's how it used to be at Oracle Park. With the Giants all of a sudden playing good baseball again, that's what they hope to see. Winning brings fun, and the players are taking care of their end. 

"We have a really good team here," Vogt said. "And we're showing it."