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Giants turn power back on to beat Rays behind 5 home runs

Evan Webeck, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Baseball

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Somebody apparently paid the electricity bill because the Giants turned the power back on Saturday after a week in the dark.

Seven of the Giants’ runs in an 11-2 win over the Rays, evening their weekend series at a game apiece, came on a quintet of long balls — two from Thairo Estrada — snapping a seven-game homerless drought, the longest dry spell from the club in nearly a decade.

Another pair was driven in on a bases-loaded single from Mike Yastrzemski, one of three recently rare base knocks from a Giants hitter with runners in scoring position.

With Logan Webb on the mound, timely hitting and a little power proved to be a winning formula.

The Giants had lost eight of their past 11 games entering Saturday, scoring more than four runs in only one of those contests. They went 3-4 without hitting a home run, but two of the wins came by the skin of their teeth and in their third, a 7-1 win Wednesday to close the homestand, they went 6 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

In their three losses since Monday, the Giants had been 1 for 26 in those situations, lowering their season batting average to .219, fifth-worst in the majors.

Safe to say, the Giants broke out in a big way Saturday against the Rays.

The 11 runs were the most they scored in 15 games this season.

In addition to Yastrzemski’s RBI single, LaMonte Wade Jr. drove home Jung Hoo Lee from second with his fifth-inning homer and Patrick Bailey drove in Estrada with a ground-rule double that bounced over the left-field wall to make it 7-1 in the sixth.

 

The Giants slugged more homers in nine innings than they had in the previous 10 games. The biggest came off the bat of Jorge Soler, who drove a letter-high fastball from reliever Chris Devinski an estimated 446 feet to center field, while Matt Chapman piled on with a solo shot off catcher Ben Rortvedt in the top of the ninth.

Both of Estrada’s homers were no-doubters to left field, and the second baseman appears to be heating up. His double-dinger game came a day after his first multi-hit contest of the season. When the Giants arrived in Florida, Estrada was batting .160 with a .413 OPS, one of the worst qualified hitters in the league, but has since gone 4 for 7 — three of the hits for extra bases — raising his average to .211 and his OPS by more than 200 points, to .637.

After receiving the least run support in the majors last season, Webb got a month’s worth of scoring in one start, though every run after Estrada’s first homer — a solo shot in the fourth inning that put the Giants up 2-1 — proved to be superfluous.

Limiting the Rays to one run on six hits over seven innings, Webb was so effective that he successfully plead his case to Bob Melvin when the manager came out to get him with two outs in the sixth inning. Holding a nine-run lead, with his starter’s pitch count at an economical number, Melvin walked back to the dugout unaccompanied.

The Rays only scored their second run once Nick Avila entered with a 10-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

Up next

As the Giants go for their second win in five series this season, Blake Snell will make his first start as a visitor at Tropicana Field, facing his former team for only the second time. The Rays have not named a starter for the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 10:40 a.m. PT, with the Giants on their way to Miami once it wraps up.


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