When five of your eight starters in the field aren't playing, and a few of their backups can't either, a lot of teams wouldn't be expecting to win. SF Giants manager Bruce Bochy had an ace in the hole, i.e. on the mound, in Johnny Cueto. But he wasn't feeling all that great either, with a stomach virus. He gave up four runs before settling into a quality start, seven innings with nine strikeouts.
You might look to Crawford, Belt and Pagan to get you going, but they all went hitless. Yet the Giants came back to win 6-4, and it was just about all because of the rooks (and the semi-rooks who had some playing time late last season.) Conor Gillaspie had another fine day, going 3 for 4, a homer shy of a cycle. The homer--a big fly to the opposite field--came from the powerful bat of Jarrett Parker. Catcher Trevor Brown had a key hit, and so did the rookiest of the rooks, Grant Green, up from the minors and playing his second game as a Giant, subbing for DL Joe Panik at second. Green had two hits Friday, including a key single with two outs in the fourth inning that drove in two runs. He also had two hits in his first game.
Even rookie Cody Gearrin pitched a hitless eighth, while Casilla's ninth was another adventure, aided by a tough Belt to Crawford to Belt double play.
The day before in Oakland, the Giants salvaged the last game of the home-and-home Bridge series behind Madison Bumgarner's pitching--and his double that got the hit parade started, 12-6. Buster Posey had a three run homer. As of Friday the Giants are again 20 games over .500, leading the Dodgers by 6 games. LA got bad news when their ace Clayton Kershaw went on the 15 day DL. My Pirates have been winning more lately and are now just three games under .500, creeping up on the slumping Cards for second place, and the first place Cubs have been slumping as well (though they still have the best record in baseball, along with the Texas Rangers.)
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