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Kuiper explains how Giants can serve notice in NL West

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Duane Kuiper has gotten to call 17 homers in 12 games, but it was a bit more fun letting loose with an "outta here!" over the last week. The Giants returned home Friday and kept knocking them out of the park, and Kuiper was thrilled to give his signature call with actual people in front of him, not just cutouts.

"It's great because when you now call a home run, you have something behind you that helps create the home run call, and that's fans," he said on this week's "Giants Talk" podcast. 

Kuiper and the fans who returned to Oracle Park watched the Giants go 5-1 against the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds. They're 8-4 overall heading into a road trip to Miami and Philadelphia, their most promising start to a season in five years. They also can claim that they're not really clicking yet. The pitching has been fantastic and the homers have been there, but the Giants are hitting just .207 as a team.

"I think they're in great shape considering the fact that they're knocking the ball out of the park but they're still not getting a whole lot of hits," Kuiper said. "Whenever they seem to get hits they bunch them together to score one or two runs, and then at the end of the game it's just enough to win.

"They're going to hit. They're going to hit better, obviously. They have to, they're still (around) .200 as a team, so it's conceivable that when they start to hit you can take a little more pressure off the pitchers. They're not going to have to be terrific every time out, and they're going to win their share of games."

 

The Giants are happy with the start, but they also have gotten a reminder of how difficult the task is this year. With about as good a start as they could have hoped for, the Giants still are two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are 10-2 and have outscored opponents by 32 runs already. The San Diego Padres -- playing without Fernando Tatis Jr. for most of this season and Dinelson Lamet for all of it -- are 9-5. 

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The Giants will try to keep it a three-team race on this trip against the Marlins (5-7) and Phillies (6-6). When they return home, it's another round with the Marlins and a series with the Rockies, who are an NL-worst 3-9. 

"I don't think they're at the point yet where they've served notice to the Padres and Dodgers that they're really, really good, but they're on their way to doing that," Kuiper said. "If they can have a nice road trip and not just have a disaster where they go, like, 1-5, they're going to be good because they're coming back home and right away they take on the Rockies again and Miami."

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