Giants 11, Diamondbacks 6
PHOENIX, Aug. 17 – Brandon Belt drove in six runs – with four coming from a second inning grand slam – and Kevin Pillar had a 5-for-5 day as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11-6, on Saturday evening. Logan Webb struck out seven and earned the win in his Major League debut, allowing only one earned run in five innings.
The Diamondbacks jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first after the Giants went down in order in the top of the inning. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson led off with a single to center and scored when second baseman Wilmer Flores followed with a double. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar then grounded to first, advancing Flores, before left fielder David Peralta fanned for the second out. Right fielder Adam Jones followed with a hard grounder to third that Evan Longoria made a nice play to field, but his throw to first pulled Brandon Belt off the bag, and Jones was safe. Flores scored on the throwing error, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead. First baseman Jake Lamb then smashed a hot grounder right at Belt, who made a nice reflex grab and stepped on the bag for the third out.
Giants Bat Around
Left fielder Alex Dickerson led off the bottom of the second with a five-pitch walk, bringing up second baseman Scooter Gennett. After a 12-pitch at-bat that included seven foul balls, he hit a grounder to Flores. Flores, attempting to kick off a 4-6-3 double play, flipped the ball backhanded toward shortstop Nick Ahmed, but the throw went wide to the third base side, and everybody was safe. The Giants took advantage of the gift, as center fielder Kevin Pillar dumped a bloop single into shallow right, fair by about two feet. With the bases now loaded, Belt stepped up to the plate and crushed the third pitch into the right field bleachers for his second career grand slam home run.
With the score now 4-2 in favor of the Giants, shortstop Brandon Crawford hit a grounder to the right side. Flores made a slick diving stop, but his throw to first went wide, and Crawford was safe. Webb came up and popped up a bunt into foul ground, where Lamb made an easy catch to finally get the first out of the inning.
Left fielder Mike Yastrzemski, who belted three home runs Friday night, then dumped the first pitch into shallow left for a single, advancing Crawford to second. Catcher Stephen Vogt followed with a single to right, loading the bases for third baseman Evan Longoria, whose sacrifice fly to right-center plated Crawford and advanced Yastrzemski to third. This ended Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taylor Clarke’s outing, as reliever Matt Andriese came in to get Dickerson for the final out of the half-inning.
Giants Pad Lead, Diamondbacks Cannot Get Past Second Base
The Giants added another run in the third when Pillar hit a one-out double to the left field corner and, after advancing to third on a balk, scored on a single to left by Belt. They increased their lead to 7-2 in the sixth when they loaded the bases with no outs. Longoria then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Austin Slater, whose pinch-hit single opened the inning, scored.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks only managed six baserunners between the second and sixth innings, and none made it past second base. In the process, they struck out six times and grounded into two inning-ending double plays.
Diamondbacks Finally Score Again, but Not Enough
In the top of the seventh, the Giants made it a 9-2 ballgame when a groundout by Crawford and a single by Slater plated Gennett and Pillar, respectively. The Diamondbacks got those runs back from a home run by substitute first baseman Christian Walker and a sacrifice fly by Escobar that scored Dyson. However, the Giants scored two more runs off reliever Stefan Crichton in the top of the eighth. After Longoria singled and pinch hitter Donovan Solano lined to center, Gennett singled to left. Pillar then lined an RBI single to left – his fifth hit of the game – bringing Longoria across. Belt followed with an RBI groundout to second, driving in his career-high sixth run of the game. Crawford then watched strike three go by, sending the 11-4 blowout into the bottom of the eighth.
The bottom of the eighth saw the Diamondbacks score two more runs, as a leadoff walk by Jones and a two-run homer by Ahmed with one out combined for the tallies. With the Diamondbacks bullpen exhausted after their recent long outings, catcher Alex Avila took the mound to position-pitch the ninth. He sat the visitors down in order, striking out one in the process. The bottom of the ninth saw only one hit – a two-out double by Escobar – but it amounted to nothing, as he was gunned down at third while trying to stretch it into a triple.
The teams combined for 30 hits – 18 by the Giants and 12 by the Diamondbacks. Webb (1-0) earned the win, while Clarke (4-4) took the loss. The teams meet again Sunday afternoon for the finale of this four-game series.
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