A spirited performance from rookie Shaun Anderson (W, 3-2, 3.86 ERA) seemed nearly an afterthought Friday night at Oracle Park in the Giants 6-3 victory over the D-backs that knocked Arizona back down to .500.
Alex Dickerson continued his campaign to win over a fan base in desperate need of something to cheer for, Buster Posey appeared to peek out from behind a slump that’s had him hitting .146 in the month of June, and Brandon Crawford continued his bounce-back going 3-for-4 with his 1,000th career hit.
The Giants (35-46) entered game two of four with the Diamondbacks (42-42) with a 16-7 record in contests in which they score first, so when Dickerson sailed a 412-foot bomb over the right-field arcade and into the Bay with a bounce to put them ahead, 1-0 in the second, it was a good omen for San Francisco.
Crawford said he’s been very impressed with the 29-year-old and the boost he’s given the Giants offense since he was acquired earlier this month. Of Dickerson’s big fly that ended up in the Cove, Crawford said:
“I was joking with him telling him I remember when I used to do that, he was like ‘Oh yeah?’ I was like, ‘No.’ I’ve seen Pablo hit some over there, that’s about it.”
Posey said he remembers seeing Dickerson with the Padres and being struck by his potential even then. He’s said he’s been glad to see him blossom in orange and black:
“He’s been really impressive. I remember when he was with the Padres. And there was a month or two that was really impressive a couple of years ago, and I remember catching against him. His bat speed stuck stood out to me then. He’s hitting some balls really hard.”
Anderson had a heavy workload in the fourth when Arizona bled him for 28 pitches. He allowed a leadoff double to Jarrod Dyson and walked David Peralta, before allowing a single up the middle to get the Diamondbacks on the board, 2-1.
Posey showed the first glimmer of his former self in the third when he fired a rocket to Levi’s Landing. It ricocheted off the wall near the tin roof above the Splash Hits tracker, and umpires initially ruled it a round-tripper. The Diamondbacks requested a review, however, and on replay it appeared unclear whether it hit the tin roof, which is the ground rule for a home run at Oracle Park.
Ultimately, umpires in New York believed conclusively that it did not touch the tin roof and they awarded Posey a ground rule double instead, good enough to knock Brandon Belt in from first.
He joins four others left-handers, Willie McCovey (1974), Barry Bonds (1,951), Will Clark (1,278), in the Giants San Francisco era to reach 1,000 hits. Of the milestone, Crawford said:
“It’s hard to put into words to be on a list like that, especially growing up a Giants fan and kind of appreciating those names. That’s pretty cool.”
Arizona intentionally walked Pillar to follow, before not-so-intentionally walking Panik. Crawford scored on a Tyler Austin ground out to first.
Dickerson, not to be left out, notched a second RBI the next inning. Yastrzemski and Posey each singled to open the frame against McFarland and Pablo Sandoval bunted them over. Dickerson then came up with a grounder that bounced off Lamb at first and into right field to score Yaz.
Anderson said from the very beginning when Dickerson joined the team mid-road trip in Arizona last week he represented a major boon to the team:
“Every time he’s got a hit, it just seems like every time he comes in the dugout our team is just fired up for him you know, and I think that’s a huge surge for our team and to have him as a great asset for us.”
Two batters later, Posey scored on a Matt Andriese wild pitch for the Giants final run, making it 6-2.
Anderson all the while was working diligently to pitch to his defense and keep the Diamondbacks off balance which he did with aplomb for 5-2/3 strong, striking out three and allowing just two runs.
He said he felt really good about his outing Friday and he attributed some of his improvement to being able to pick reliever Mark Melancon‘s brain. Anderson said:
“I feel like I’m learning more and more each outing, you know, and throwing the ball lower in the zone and and staying away from the middle part of the plate is really been a huge key factor for me. And that’s something that I’ve been working with the pitching coaches with and just trying to build off that.”
Posey said he sees growth in Anderson, too:
“Each time now he’s making improvements with fastball command. I think he’s reading swings, well, being able to tell what guys are trying to do off of them.”
Anderson displayed pure athleticism when, with a runner on third and just one out in the second, Jake Lamb slapped a liner right back up the middle, and with catlike reflexes the lanky right-hander reached across his body with his glove hand and speared it to save the run. He next caught Nick Ahmed looking to end the threat without allowing a run.
Will Smith came in to close it out in a non-save situation and allowed just his eighth run all season.
Steven Duggar (lower back strain) will begin a rehab assignment in Sacramento starting Saturday.