Welcome to San Francisco Marlon Byrd.
In his first game as a member of the Giants, the right fielder slugged a two-run homer last night in Pittsburgh to jump start the Giants’ offense and the G-men never looked back in accumulating six runs and 14 hits in a 6-4 win.
Madison Bumgarner picked up his 15th win of the season, giving up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. MadBum also crushed his fifth homer of the season in his first at bat, giving the Giants a 5-1 lead at the time, providing the cushion he would need for the victory. Bumgarner leads all MLB pitchers in home runs and RBIs this season. “I’m just trying to be aggressive. Just trying to do something. Anything productive,” MadBum said. “I happened to get a good one.”
With the Dodgers getting no-hit in Houston for their third straight loss, the Giants moved to within 1 1/2 games of first place in the NL West.
Byrd could be just what the doctor ordered, as two thirds of the Giants’ starting outfield remain on the DL. With second baseman and All-Star Joe Panik also out indefinitely, the offense surely needed a shot in the arm. Byrd went 3 for 5 in his Giants’ debut, falling a triple shy of the cycle, while driving in two runs and scoring a run. His first inning homer was Byrd’s 20th of the year, and his offensive pop and ability to play right or left field should strengthen the Giants for the pennant race. “I’m sure he wanted to make a good first impression,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said, “and he did more than that.”
Nori Aoki also went 3 for 5, with a double and run scored, while Gregor Blanco continued his hot hitting going 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. Brandon Belt went 2 for 5 with a double and RBI. The offense went 4 for 13 with runners in scoring position in a solid performance, looking more like the offensive juggernaut they’ve been for most of the season.
In a surprising move, the team optioned starter Chris Heston to Triple-A Sacramento yesterday. Heston has been the number two starter this year and has thrown a no-hitter. His 11-7, 3.34 ERA would suggest that he might be exempt from being sent down to Sacramento. However, the rookie had shown signs of fatigue in the past month and the Giants’ brass felt he could use some rest. He’ll be called back up on September 1st when rosters expand and will likely resume his role. In the meantime, newcomer Mike Leake (9-6, 3.52) comes off of the disabled list to take Heston’s turn in the rotation today, and Ryan Vogelsong will likely take his next turn, before Heston joins the big club again in ten days.
Leake will oppose Pirates’ starter and ace Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.61) in an afternoon start.
- Santiago Casilla picked up his 30th save on the year, pitching to just three batters in the ninth inning, allowing no runs, no hits and a walk