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Heliot Ramos shines, but missed opportunities haunt Giants in loss to Angels

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO — Heliot Ramos did it all for the San Francisco Giants on Saturday afternoon.

That wasn’t a good thing for San Francisco.

Ramos had two doubles, a two-run homer, and finished with three RBI, but the Giants could not get anything else going offensively in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels before a sun-splashed crowd of 36,235 at Oracle Park.

The Giants committed a costly error in the seventh inning, allowed three more stolen bases and went a dismal 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. San Francisco also left a combined 10 runners on base as its record fell to 2-3 on this six-game homestand that ends Sunday.

Ramos hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and added an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth for 3-1 Giants lead. But the Giants failed to add on, as they left the bases loaded after Jorge Soler and Thairo Estrada were both retired.

In the sixth, after he walked Angels designated hitter Taylor Ward, Giants starter Keaton Winn appeared to be bothered as he looked at his fingers. That prompted a visit from Bob Melvin, Dave Groeschner and Bryan Price, but after a brief discussion, Winn remained in the game.

Winn got Kevin Pillar to fly out, but with Ryan Walker warming up in the bullpen, threw a middle-middle fastball to Logan O’Hoppe, who deposited it over the left center field wall, 467 feet away from home plate to tie the game 3-3.

O’Hoppe’s blast was tied for the fourth-longest homer at Oracle Park in the Statcast era, which began in 2015. Other homers of such distance came from Gary Sanchez (467 feet in 2019), Kennys Vargas (471 feet in 2017), Jorge Alfaro (473 feet in 2019), and Ian Desmond (477 feet in 2015).

Walker came in for Winn in the top of the seventh. He then walked Nolan Schanuel, saw Curt Casali commit an error that allowed Schanuel to get from first to third after a stolen base, and was followed by Luis Rengifo’s RBI bloop single to left center.

The Giants have allowed 73 stolen bases this season and have stolen just 27 themselves.

That’s when the amount of runners the Giants left on base Saturday really came into view.

 

The Giants were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in the first seven innings Saturday.

Giants manager Bob Melvin wanted to see Winn eat up innings Saturday for at least a couple of reasons.

First, the Giants bullpen needed to throw 6 2/3 innings Friday in an 8-6 loss to the Angels. Starter Spencer Howard was lit up for seven hits and four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings before he was lifted for Randy Rodríguez, who didn’t fare much better as the Giants trailed 8-0 after 3 1/3 innings.

But it would have also been a confidence boost for Winn get deeper into Saturday considering how badly he struggled in his last start on June 9 in Arlington.

In what was his first start in close to a month, after he was on the injured list with a right forearm strain, Winn struck out seven but also allowed seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. It was the fourth straight start in which he was unable to complete five innings, as he entered Saturday with a 3-7 record and a 6.94 ERA.

“Didn’t have his best command and it ended up being a shorter start for him, but he’s got good stuff,” Melvin said. “All you need is all three of his pitches. I think his slider was his best pitch last time out.”

Winn made one big mistake Saturday, leaving a fastball over the middle of the plate to Mickey Moniak, who hammered it 423 feet well over the center field wall, cutting San Francisco’s lead to 2-1 in the second innings.

Otherwise, Winn’s outing was solid, as he retired 10 of 13 batters after the Moniak homer. Of his six strikeouts Saturday, five were finished off by the split-finger fastball. For the season now, 24 of Winn’s 46 pitches have come off the splitter.

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