Gausman brilliant, as Giants overcome errors to beat Chicago Cubs

SAN FRANCISCO — Kevin Gausman made one significant mistake Saturday, leaving a 96 mph fastball over the middle of the plate in the second inning that Patrick Wisdom took over the centerfield wall.

Otherwise, Gausman was continued his stretch of brilliance, striking out 10 and allowing just two walks over seven innings to lead the Giants to an error-filled 4-3 win over the Cubs at Oracle Park.

Alex Dickerson hit a solo home in the third inning and Chadwick Tromp and LaMonte Wade Jr. both had RBI singles in the fourth as the Giants won for the seventh time in eight games.

San Francisco will look to sweep its four-game series with the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

After Wisdom’s homer gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead, Gausman retired 16 of the next 17 batters as he’s now lasted at least six innings in 11 of his 12 starts this year. Jake McGee pitched a perfect eighth and Tyler Rogers, after some hairy moments in the ninth, earned his eighth save.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, so it’s kind of fun to catch him,” said Tromp, who was catching Gausman for the first time this season. “He’s just doubling up on what works for him, and I think he’s going continue to keep doing that.

“At the end of the year, you’ll see his numbers are really, really good.”

They’re already exceptional. Gausman is now 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA, third-best in MLB behind only Jacob deGrom (0.67) and Lance Lynn (1.27).

“I just go start-by-start and try not to think too much about it,” Gausman said of his season. “In each start, focus on going pitch-to-pitch. Just have to keep going and focus on making pitches.”

Rogers induced four straight ground balls to start the ninth, but only was able to record one out.

With the Giants up 4-2, Mauricio Dubón was unable to cleanly field a grounder by Rafael Ortega, then lost the grip on ground ball by Kris Bryant that could have been turned for a double play.

Then, in a scary moment, Evan Longoria collided with Brandon Crawford as both moved to field a grounder from Anthony Rizzo.

Bryant scored on the play, as Longoria remained on the infield dirt for a few moments before he left the game.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said it was a shoulder ailment in the “collarbone-ish” area for Longoria, but added he didn’t know the severity. Crawford remained in the game and Kapler said it seemed he came out of the collision OK, although he was going to get examined as well.

“So proud of the way our team sacrifices their body, and these guys have been going hard,” Kapler said. “I feel for both Longo and Craw, and in this particular case Longo because he’s continually working to get his body healthy and keep his body healthy.

“He’s having such high-quality at-bats and playing such great defense, you feel like you should get rewarded with all of that with health. It just really sucks to have what was an excellent game kind of soured slightly by that play.

“Really disappointed for him and I have a ton of respect for the way for him and Crawford for the way they went after that ground ball.”

Longoria had returned to the Giants lineup Friday after missing two games with an intercostal strain. He came into Saturday on a nine-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest active streak in MLB behind Nicholas Castellanos (20 games), Rhys Hoskins (11 games) and Ke’Bryan Hayes (11 games).

During the streak, Longoria was batting .406 (13-for-32) with two doubles, four homers, 13 RBI and seven runs scored. Saturday, Longoria was 1-for-1 with a run scored and three walks.

“It was pretty bad (collision), so I just I hope (Longoria) is OK,” Tromp said. “He’s a very important part of our team, so hopefully he’s fine.”

With two runners on, Rogers struck out Willson Contreras and got Jason Heyward to ground out to Dubón to end the game. The Giants made three errors in the game, with two being charged in the ninth.

KAZMIR EXITS: Left-hander Scott Kazmir was designed for assignment by the Giants, leaving him with an uncertain future less than four months after he began his unlikely comeback. The Giants now have seven days to either trade Kazmir or place him on waivers.

In a corresponding move, the Giants recalled right-handed pitcher Camilo Doval from Triple-A Sacramento.

In a spot start Friday, Kazmir allowed three hits and two earned runs in two innings in what became an 8-5 Giants win over the Cubs. In three appearances this season, including two starts, Kazmir had an 0-1 record and a 6.43 ERA in 7.0 innings.

If Kazmir clears waivers, he may join the River Cats or request his release.

Kazmir has been on the restricted list since Monday so he could go to Houston to attend to a personal matter, which the San Francisco Chronicle reported was the death of close friend Jimmy Tran.

Friday’s start was the 299th of Kazmir’s MLB career, but only his second since 2016 after he was out of the major leagues for four seasons before making a spot start for the Giants against the Dodgers on May 22.

A three-time All-Star, Kazmir signed a minor league deal with San Francisco at the beginning of spring training in hopes of making a comeback to the major leagues. Kazmir pitched for Sacramento on May 9 and May 15 before the Giants selected his contract on May 22.

MLB FIRST: To mark the start of Pride Month, Giants players and coaches wore jerseys with an SF logo “Pride Patch” on their right sleeves and caps that incorporate the Pride colors into the SF logo. The Giants are the first MLB team to incorporate Pride colors into their on-field uniforms. Giants third baseman Evan Longoria wore a sleeve on his left arm with the colors of the pride rainbow.

Before the game, the Giants raised a progress pride rainbow flag and a transgender identity flag in centerfield, where it will remain for the rest of this month.

“I think it’s an exciting moment for our team, for our organization,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said before Saturday’s game. “I’m very proud of our group for publicly supporting the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an important step and we’re all standing behind the community.”

BELT UPDATE: Kapler said Brandon Belt, on the injured list since May 26 with a mild left oblique strain, could be activated as soon as Sunday when the Giants close their four-game series with the Cubs.

BEEDE UPDATE: Kapler said the Giants have extended Tyler Beede’s rehab assignment. Beede, who had Tommy John surgery in March of last year, had five strikeouts but allowed six earned runs on six hits in four innings in his start for Sacramento against Reno on Friday. Beede threw 77 pitches.

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Author: Curtis Pashelka

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