What we learned as Giants erupt in win on Buster Posey Day originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — After a lengthy pregame ceremony on Saturday afternoon, Buster Posey came up to the press box at Oracle Park to chat with reporters. As he was answering a question about retired life, Posey paused and looked over a few heads, eager to catch a glimpse of what had brought the crowd to its feet.
“Nice,” he whispered.
Wilmer Flores had just hit a grand slam, giving the Giants nearly as many runs as they scored in the previous four games combined. They were just getting started. Flores’ bomb was the first of three in a 13-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that snapped a five-game losing streak.
The Giants took an 8-3 lead through two innings on Buster Posey Day, but they had some tight moments late in the game. After Dylan Carlson hit a three-run homer off Zack Littell, the lead was cut to a pair, but Thairo Estrada’s RBI double gave the pitching staff some breathing room, and the game was broken open again at the bottom of the eighth.
Flores came up with the bases loaded for the third time and drew a walk to give the Giants a four-run lead. That gave Flores six RBI, tying his career-high. Flores’ walk was one of four in the inning, which also included an RBI hit-by-pitch and sacrifice fly.
The second and third bombs came from Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf, and you can argue that there aren’t two players on the roster who were more in need of a rewarding day.
Dubon entered hitting just .138, but with Brandon Crawford getting a rare day off, Dubon got a chance at shortstop and shined. He reached in the first inning and scored on the Flores bomb, and in the second he took Steven Matz to dead center for his first homer of the season. At 106.1 mph, the homer was by far Dubon’s hardest-hit ball of the season. He had a solid day at shortstop, too, and made one spectacular play up the middle to end the third.
Ruf has played just about every day thus far, and he has been one of the unluckier hitters in baseball. He entered the day ranking among the league leaders in hard-hit rate, but he was batting just .188 with no homers. That changed in the four-run second when he got a 94 mph heater down the middle and knocked it over the left field wall.
Logan Webb has admitted over the last week that he’s not feeling at his best right now, but there aren’t serious injury concerns and the Giants are going to let him work his way through it on the mound.
Webb gave up 11 hits in his previous start but made it through six and got the win. On Saturday, he allowed eight hits and walked a pair, but he gave an overworked pitching staff a bit of a break, getting through five innings without his A-game. Webb allowed four runs but also struck out seven, including a whiff of Paul Goldschmidt after the Cardinals had scored a pair of runs in the top of the second to cut the deficit back down to one.
Back In Action (But Maybe Not For Long)
The Giants had five players test positive for COVID-19 over the span of a week, but all five are now back in the clubhouse. The final two — Brandon Belt and Dominic Leone — were activated on Saturday morning and both made an immediate impact, although Belt was removed in the eighth inning.
Belt walked in his first three plate appearances back and twice scored on homers, but he grimaced after taking a swing in the eighth and was immediately removed by trainer Dave Groeschner. It appeared Belt might have hurt his left shoulder.
Leone pitched a scoreless sixth and struck out a pair. The Giants had previously gotten Mike Yastrzemski and Littell back from the Covid IL, and outfielder Steven Duggar also had it, although he is currently on the 60-day IL with an oblique strain. Duggar got out of quarantine on Friday.
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