Balanced offense crushes Dodgers pitchers, SF Giants pass rivals in NL West standings

A week after the Dodgers arrived at Oracle Park and sent the Giants tumbling from first to third place in the National League West, Gabe Kapler’s club is back out in front of its rivals.

After losing their first four matchups against the Dodgers, the Giants have now won back-to-back games in Los Angeles as they followed a dramatic, 10-inning victory on Friday with a 11-6 win on Saturday.

Six different Giants batters finished with at least one RBI in a blowout that pushed the Giants 12 games above .500 and moved them into sole possession of second place behind the Padres in the National League West. The 11 runs the Giants scored against the Dodgers marked their highest total at Dodger Stadium since September 14, 2013 when San Francisco defeated Los Angeles 19-3.

“We were really aggressive with pitches in the zone,” first baseman Wilmer Flores said. “With good pitchers, you can’t just let them throw that first strike to you, so we attacked and it paid off.”

Center fielder Mauricio Dubón led the way with three RBIs as he drove in the first two runs of the day with a second-inning single before adding an eighth inning sacrifice fly.

Second baseman Donovan Solano, who committed back-to-back errors in the second inning, atoned for his mistakes in the third inning with a two-run home run that was launched into the left center field bleachers.

“Solano picked us all up,” Kapler said. “It doesn’t always work out that way and sometimes those errors turn into losses, but in this particular case, we saw (Logan Webb) continue to throw strikes and get groundballs and give our infielders opportunities and then we saw Solano pick us up with the bat.”

Third baseman Evan Longoria, who crushed a two-run double in the 10th inning of Friday’s game, hit his third home run of the week in the eighth inning against Dodgers southpaw Alex Vesia.

Logan Webb turned in an excellent outing after missing his last scheduled start with a shoulder strain as the right-hander only allowed one hit in five innings against a Dodgers lineup that welcomed Cody Bellinger back from the injured list Saturday. The Giants right-hander gave up a pair of runs, but one was unearned as consecutive Dodgers batters reached in the second inning following errors from Solano.

Webb initially earned a spot in the Giants’ rotation thanks to a dominant spring training in which he relied on his changeup, but it was the slider that was the righty’s best offering against the Dodgers. Of the seven strikeouts Webb had on Saturday, six came on sliders as the Dodgers whiffed at 11 of the 13 breaking balls they swung at against the Giants starter.

“Having it work on the plate and just down, that’s the best I’ve felt throwing my slider for sure,” Webb said.

Webb wasn’t the only Giants to return from the injured list and enjoy an impressive day as Flores went 3-for-3 with three singles against Urías. After missing the last 10 days with a mild right hamstring strain, Flores’ three-hit performance was his second of the season.

“I’ve been getting a lot of machine work and even two days after I got hurt, I never stopped hitting in the cage and doing my work and what I usually do to keep my timing,” Flores said.

Urías didn’t allow a baserunner in the first five innings of his start in San Francisco last weekend, but the Giants flipped the script against the Dodgers southpaw on Saturday as they had 13 baserunners in five innings.

“I thought the hitters were certainly disciplined, I thought Urías gave us a few more balls to hit and our guys jumped on them,” Kapler said.

The 11 hits Urías allowed set a career-high and the seven runs he gave up against the Giants matched his previous high. The offensive onslaught was consistent as the Giants scored three runs in the second inning, two in the third and two more in the fourth to build a five-run lead.

“The guys, I think they wanted a little revenge from last time they faced Urías, so it was really good energy today in the dugout,” Webb said.

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Author: Kerry Crowley