San Francisco, CA – The Giants were fully charged for the Bay Bridge series opener. Scoring five runs in the seventh was just one of the highlights of tonight’s game. Rookie Steven Duggar was also another factor in the first matchup against the Oakland A’s.
“He was in the middle of everything today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “All of the rallies, got the big hit to break it open, and the first at-bat was a good at-bat. He looks like he’s comfortable already from the get-go; he’s throwing out some good at-bats, playing good defense. Just a really nice ballgame by him.”
San Francisco kicked off the series with a 7-1 victory over the A’s. Duggar drove in three runs off two big hits. After going three scoreless frames, the Giants got on the board first. Duggar led off the fourth with a double, he advanced to third on Brandon Belt’s ground out.
Edwin Jackson looked like he did an almost perfect Pirouette turn but tripped off his own feet on the mound resulting in a balk. Duggar scored making it a 1-0 game. This was one of a few “bloops and blunders” by Oakland.
“My front spike just caught the dirt,” said Jackson. “It’s a first. I guess when you play this long there’s a first for a lot of different things, but that’s the first time that I’ve had that happen where someone is on base and a run gets brought in.”
Chad Pinder chased down a fly ball passed the foul ball line, and both Jed Lowrie and Steven Piscotty collided in the outfield with Lowrie leaving the game with a left leg contusion and bone bruise. Pinder who robbed Madison Bumgarner of a home run in the third, homered on a fly ball to center field tying the game 1-1.
By the sixth San Francisco got their next run when Duggar led of the inning with a walk, McCuthen hit a single putting two on with one out. Buster Posey’s RBI single scored in Duggar making it a 2-1 game. But Bumgarner knocked himself out of the game after he loaded the bases with two walks and a single with no outs.
Piscotty led off the seventh with a single and both Matt Olson and Matt Chapman walked. Reyes Moronta came in to strike out the next batter. Then he forced Jonathan Lucroy to line out to third baseman Pablo Sandoval who almost had a double play had he beaten Piscotty back to the base.
“Unbelievable job right there,” Bumgarner said on Moronta’s night. “It was a tough spot to put somebody in and he did as good of a job as you can do, especially in a one-run game. I think that was the big momentum shifter. I think that particular inning won the game for us.”
Amazing defense by the Giants who left three stranded. Pinch-hitter Nick Martini grounded out to shortstop Brandon Crawford to end the frame. What seemed like an opportunity for the A’s ended with a defensive victory for San Francisco. Bumgarner lasted six innings allowing three hits, one home run and striking out five.
“You always look at a point in the game that could be the turning point and that certainly was,” said Bochy. “Bum threw a great ballgame but a base hit, walk, and then he walks the next guy. At that point he’s coming out and we’ve done that a few times to Moronta, put him in a tough situation. But he handles it so well, that’s going beyond, not to give up a run. He has that kind of stuff and poise, and that’s the turning point in the game, really.”
While the A’s bullpen fell apart the Giants took over in the bottom of the seventh. Amen Hanson led off with a single, followed by a single from Gorkys Hernandez. Pinch-hitter Chase d’Arnaud walked putting three on with no outs. Duggar drove in two with a double extending their lead 4-1.
d’Arnaud advanced to third moving Duggar to second. Belt got hit by pitch loading the bases again with no outs. McCutchen’s sacrifice fly scored in d’Arnaud making it a 5-1 game. A wild pitch drove in Duggar and Posey followed with a RBI double to make it a 7-1 game. Duggar got his Major League call-up Sunday and didn’t disappoint in his first Bay Bridge series.
“I was locked in, ready to go,” said Duggar. “I had a feeling they were going to go to that lefty in the ‘pen when I was in the hole if the bases were loaded. I just tried to mentally prepare for that and just tried to make the most of that situation.”