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Soaring Mike Tauchman robs Pujols, opens door for Giants 10th-inning win

A phenomenal leaping catch at the wall from Mike Tauchman in the ninth inning robbed a game-winning home run from Albert Pujols, opening the door for LaMonte Wade Jr. and Evan Longoria to drive home an 8-5 Giants win in 10 innings at Dodger Stadium Friday night.

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Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes had just smacked a game-tying, three-run homer off Tyler Rogers when Pujols came to the plate poised to win the game for the Dodgers (31-20). It looked like the future Hall of Famer had done just that when Tauchman, sprinting for the left field wall, perfectly timed his leap and extended his glove over the fence to snare the ball and give life to the Giants (31-20).

The Giants avoided dropping six straight to their bitter rivals in a battle decided by starting pitching, defense, and which bullpen will blow the game late.

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Anthony DeSclafani pitched well in his second start of the season against the Dodgers. After getting rocked in his first outing against the boys in blue, DeSclafani had a nice bounce-back, holding the Dodgers to two runs over 4-2/3 innings of work receiving a no-decision.

He was far from perfect, Matt Beaty was able to take him deep in the second. DeSclafani found himself in multiple jams with his command being off and walking four batters, but he was able to minimize the damage and keep his team in the game, unlike the 10 earned runs he gave up in his last start.

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The Giants offense faced Dodgers hard-throwing starter Walker Buehler and, after a scoreless first inning, the Giants jumped on him in the second when Crawford hit a rocket double off of the right-field wall and later came around to score after a wild pitch and a Donovan Solano sac fly.

The defense had DeSclafani back for most of the day. Brandon Crawford started the game off with an error from a hard hit ball from Mookie Betts but outside of that, the San Francisco defense was great all game.

In the bottom on the fourth, DeSclafani got himself in trouble after a leadoff walk and a single to Beatty setting runners up at first and third. But Buster Posey made a fantastic play at the plate, stretching to tag out Chris Taylor to save a run and DeSclafani was able to pitch out of the jam.

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Buehler settled in after the second inning and was able to keep the Giants offense at bay most of the game until Steven Duggar smoked a solo home run (3) to right in the fifth to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

DeSclafani gave up the one-run lead the following inning on a Chris Taylor single to bring home Justin Turner.

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Buster Posey got the fireworks going in the top of the eighth inning with a three-run bomb, giving the Giants a 5-2 lead off Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen after Wade was hit by a pitch and Mike Yastrzemski walked.

The game looked all but sealed for San Francisco going into the ninth inning, when the Giants inserted their right-handed, submarine-throwing reliever Rogers for a save opportunity.

Rogers (W, 1-0, 1.63 ERA) got Muncy to ground out but gave up back-to-back hits to Turner and Will Smith. He coaxed Lux to ground into a fielder’s choice for the second out, but Barnes struck lightning to tie the game with his three-run-homer.

After Tauchman made the catch of the year to save the game, the Giants started the 10th under the MLB’s extra-innings rule with a runner on 2nd. Wade was able to single him home off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen (L, 0-2, 2.01 ERA) and Longoria delivered the finishing blow with a two-run RBI double.

Jarlin Garcia was given the ball in the tenth to close it out for the Giants, pitching a scoreless inning to seal the Giants first win over the Dodgers in 2021.

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