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Giants slug their way back into walk-off thriller over Padres

At one point, it seemed as if the Giants bats would remain frozen Wednesday night.

This time around, the Giants bats woke up, and in a big way, in the form of Donovan Solano (2-4, HR, 4 RBIs), Alex Dickerson (2-3, HR, 3B, 1 RBI), and the ninth-inning hero, Mike Yastrzemski (3-5, 2 HR, 2 RBIs).

Yastrzemski walked it off in the bottom of the ninth, completing the Giants four-run comeback in a 7-6 thriller over the Padres.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.

Game two of this three-game series featured some déjà vu from the night prior: early Giants leads, Padres home runs with runners on base, and disappointing starting pitching.

Johnny Cueto (ND, 0-0, 5.87 ERA) took the mound for his second start of the season. He opposed Padres ace Chris Paddack (1-0, 1.64 ERA).

Giants’ pitching was once again troubled by Padres extra-base-hits with runners on base. Both Manny Machado (2-4, HR, 2 RBIs) and Trent Grisham (2-4, HR, 3 RBIs) carried the Padres offense Wednesday night.

Cueto had a new battery-mate as Chadwick Tromp made his major league debut as the Giants starting catcher. Tromp was previously in the Cincinnati Reds organization for seven years.

A quick four-batter top of the first inning for Cueto, only surrendering a single to Machado. Paddack followed with a 1-2-3 bottom of the first against the Giants.

Dickerson led off the bottom of the second inning with a triple up against the center field wall. Two batters later Brandon Crawford reached on an infield single to give the Giants first and third with one out. Solano came through, knocking in Dickerson from third with a base hit up the middle. The Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

Tuesday night the Giants jumped out in front early, before the Padres countered with a home run. That same thing happened Wednesday.

With two outs in the top of the third, Cueto walked Grisham. Next batter up, Machado launched a two-run homer to center field. Padres took a 2-1 lead.

That lead wouldn’t last long. Yastrzemski led off the bottom half of the third inning with a solo home run that bounced into McCovey Cove.

Cueto hit Wil Myers with a pitch to lead off the top of the fourth inning. The Padres manufactured another run after Myers stole second, coming home on a base hit from Edward Olivares, giving San Diego a 3-2 lead. That was it for Cueto.

Cueto’s final line: 3-2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 87 pitches.

After the game, Cueto gave his expectations for the Giants in 2020 after their scrappy start to the season:

“This is a unique season, 60 games. It’s a short season. The team is very young, and i see ourselves winning more games. Anything can happen with these 60 games, and the only thing I expect is for us to compete and play well.”

Shaun Anderson, who has performed very well in relief this season, replaced Cueto in the fourth inning. The Padres must not have got the memo, because they immediately tagged Anderson for three runs. With two runners on, Grisham homered to right field, extending the Padres lead to 6-3.

Yastrzemski collected his second hit of the night, and ninth of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Giants best hitter in 2019 has continued that role in 2020.

Dickerson led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to center, his first of the season, cutting the Padres lead to 6-3.

A lightning rod for the Giants offense in 2019, Dickerson will need to play a big role in the Giants offense for them to have any success this season.

Tyler Anderson came in after Shaun Anderson (no relation) and pitched three and two-thirds shutout innings. Anderson, the former, has been used as both a starter and a reliever in 2020. One of the many new, versatile weapons the Giants have in their bullpen.

In the top of the eighth inning, Anderson picked off not only one, but two runners. A successful pickoff is something that rarely ever happens in one game, let alone twice in one inning.

With six outs left, the Giants rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Dickerson walked with one out, advancing to third on a single to right field by Crawford, his third hit of the game.

Then came Solano…

The Giants middle-infielder knocked in the first run of the game back in the second, and then cleared the bases in the eighth. Launching a three-run homer over the left-field wall, Solano ties the game at six. A huge 4-RBI night for Solano.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler talked about Solano’s role and his at-bat to tie the game in the eighth inning.:

“One of the questions we had coming into this season; ‘was Donnie going to see mostly lefties?’ and that might still be the case, or ‘was he going to be so good that we was going to put great swings on right-handed pitching as well?’ So far this season we’ve seen him hit right-handed pitching and hit with velocity like he always has, that’s one of his skills dating back several years, is to hit velocity. Really slow heartbeat at the plate, really believes in himself, uses the whole field. He’s just a real professional hitter.”

Tyler Rogers (W, 1-1, 12.00 ERA) took over for the Giants in the top of the ninth inning, tied at six. Grisham grounded out for the first out, Machado walked, then Rogers induced an inning-ending double play. On to the bottom of the ninth.

Yastrzemski led off the bottom of the ninth. He must have wanted to go home, because he ended the game with one swing off Matt Strahm (L, 0-1, 3.38 ERA), his second home run of the game, a blast into McCovey Cove.

Kapler discussed Yastrzemski’s big night, and his impact on the Giants lineup:

“I think tonight was an important moment in Yaz’s career. I think he hit a changeup off [Chris Paddack] which was really encouraging for people who like to see the bat stay on plane, and extend out through the zone and get that ball in the air to the pull side. Obviously to hang in there against a tough lefty late in the game, also to get that ball up in the air to the pull side, which is a real skill, he just looks like a great all-around player right now. It’s starting to seem like this is who Yaz is.”


  • As exciting as walk-off home runs are, social distancing still applies, even when celebrating.
  • Gabe Kapler announced that RHP Kevin Gausman will be Thursday’s starting pitcher. Gausman has yet to start a game, pitching four innings in relief last Friday against the Dodgers.
  • The Giants have used Donovan Solan in a part-time role to begin the season. His performance Wednesday night may have earned him more playing time, and he’s ready to do whatever the Giants ask him to do.

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