Tagged in: diamondbacks

Slater hits late 2-run homer, Giants beat Diamondbacks 6-5

San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler opted to have Austin Slater to pinch hit for Alex Dickerson to lead off the fifth inning.

Slater ended up grounding out, but he made up for it with a big blast at a crucial moment.

Slater hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, Mike Yastrzemski also had a two-run shot and the Giants rallied to defeat the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 on Saturday night.

“We depend on Slater and I thought that was an important enough at-bat to get him into the game,” Kapler said. ”Obviously, he got the biggest hit of the night for us.”

The Giants hit three homers to end a season-long four-game losing streak in an 11-4 victory Friday and again took the Diamondbacks down with the long ball.

Arizona went up 5-4 on David Peralta’s bloop single in the fifth inning, but Slater fouled off a couple of good pitches from Ryan Buchter (0-2) before hitting a 463-foot homer to center.

San Francisco has scored 214 of its 405 runs (52.8%) of its runs this season on homers.

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Dominic Leone (2-0) struck out two in the seventh inning and Jake McGee worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances, improving the Giants to a majors-best 52-30. San Francisco overcame a season-high three errors and Thairo Estrada getting picked off first in the eighth.

“I don’t think we played our crisp brand of baseball defensively or on the bases,” Kapler stated. “We weren’t at our best and are going to need to be better than that.”

Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer to help Arizona rally from an early four-run deficit, but the bullpen had another letdown.

The last-place Diamondbacks have lost six of seven.

“We fell down four runs, fought back and tied it, and took the lead,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We just got clipped. We just have to do a better job on the mound.”

Diamondbacks starter Jake Faria permitted a run in four innings versus St. Louis on June 28 in his first big league start since 2018. The right-hander escaped a jam in the first inning against the Giants, but couldn’t wriggle out of trouble in the third.

San Francisco wore red caps as part of Major League Baseball’s Fourth of July promotion, a glaring change from the Giants’ usual black.

Yastrzemski hit his 12th homer, a two-run shot, followed by Brandon Crawford’s run-scoring triple and Donovan Solano’s RBI single.

“He was OK,” Lovullo said of Faria. “I think the line score was little worse than what it was. He attacked the zone, had real good spin on his secondary pitches and he competed.

Giants starter Sammy Long couldn’t hold the lead.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Christian Walker each had run-scoring singles in the third inning, and Ahmed tied it at 4 with a two-run homer just over the wall in right in the fourth.

“I was just trying to stay through the middle of the field and got just enough of the barrel on it,” Ahmed said.

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Giants, IF Wilmer Flores agree on multiyear deal

The San Francisco Giants have added infield depth by agreeing with Wilmer Flores on a multiyear contract, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

The 28-year-old could compete for the starting second base job or at least play in a utility role around the infield.

Flores has made over 100 starts at all four infield spots during his career, mostly playing second base in his limited action with the Arizona Diamondbacks last campaign.

A foot injury and other ailments limited Flores to just 89 games in 2019, but he excelled when healthy with a .317 batting average and .848 OPS, both of which were career highs. He added 18 doubles and nine home runs in 285 plate appearances.

It came after serving as a reliable hitter for the New York Mets, producing a .262/.303/.424 slash line across six seasons.  Despite his success last season, the Diamondbacks declined his option for 2020, putting him back on the open market for the second consecutive winter.

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Flores will get an opportunity at another fresh start with San Francisco, trying to remain a consistent presence in the offense.

The Giants failed to get regular production at second base last year, eventually parting with Joe Panik midseason. Donovan Solano and Mauricio Dubon both played well when given the opportunity, but neither has much of a track record to trust going into 2020.

These two, along with Kean Wong, should compete with Flores for playing time in the middle infield spot.

Considering Flores has five career pinch-hit home runs and experience at a variety of positions, he should be useful regardless of his role this season.

With Flores in the fold, Kapler can now field an all right-handed hitting infield with Flores at first, Dubón and Solano up the middle and Evan Longoria at third.

If Sánchez or left-handed hitting waiver wire acquisition Kean Wong makes the Opening Day roster, the Giants can also go heavy with lefties in the infield as Brandon Belt can play first, Sánchez or Wong can play second and Crawford can play short.

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