With their win over the Astros last night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, the Giants ended two significant streaks. In pushing eight runs across the plate, they scored more than six runs in a game for the first time this season, after 32 consecutive attempts. This was the longest such streak in the history of the Giants franchise, dating back to 1914. And in defeating Astros starter Collin McHugh, they were able to end his personal 11 decision win streak. Both streaks ended on the same evening because two Giants rookies stepped up, continuing their impressive seasons.
Chris Heston continued to make a name for himself in MLB, with his best start of the season. He was nearly untouchable last night, going the distance in a complete game victory, allowing just two hits, no walks and one run. Heston struck out 10 batters, keeping the Astros hitters off balance all night with nasty stuff. “That was awesome,” Heston said. “I’ll remember that forever.” With his effort, he became the first Giants rookie to strike out 10 batters in a complete game since Roger Mason did it in 1985. With his performance, Heston is now 3-3 on the season with a 2.91 ERA.
Matt Duffy came up huge as well, going 3 for 4 with a double and five RBIs. Duffy continues to hit well in clutch situations, now at 10 for 22, .455 average with runners in scoring position. He’s now hitting .300 on the year, with 15 RBIs, tied for second on the team, despite accumulating only 70 at bats. Projected over a full season as a starter, that would equate to more than 100 RBIs. In this game, Duffy totaled a career high in hits for one game with three, and RBIs with five. He also became the first Giants rookie to collect five RBIs in a game since Buster Posey did it back in July of 2010. Duffy’s success last night followed his walk-off heroics in the Giants last game on Mother’s Day. “I don’t necessarily have the physical tools that some guys have that I’m going up against,” Duffy said. “I have to try to be as confident as possible.”
With Duffy’s success, the debate regarding who should be the Giants starting third baseman intensifies. But the versatile Duffy will get the start at second base tonight, filling in for an ailing Joe Panik (sore hip). Manager Bruce Bochy isn’t giving up on his starting third baseman (Casey McGehee) just yet. “Casey’s a veteran. He’ll get it going. I’m going to try to keep mixing him in there until he gets on a roll,” Bochy said.
Angel Pagan continued his hot hitting, going 3 for 5 with a run scored, raising his average to .333. And Justin Maxwell went 2 for 5, with a RBI and two runs scored. In all, the G-men managed 11 hits and were 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position, a key offensive statistic that has been a thorn in the Giants side all season.
With a record of 17-16 on the season, the Giants remain 5 ½ games behind the first place Dodgers, who won again last night for their fifth straight win. Tonight, Tim Hudson (1-3, 4.50) will be on the hill against Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer. Hudson has been inconsistent this season, but brings a 5-0 career record against Houston. Oberholtzer will be making his first start of the season.