BY RYAN LEONG
There’s an old cliché that it’s better to be lucky than good. An examination of Wednesday afternoon’s Giants game was a good example of that. San Francisco was 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners yet managed to beat the playoff contending Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 in the rubber game of a three game series. at the playoff contending Milwaukee Brewers in the rubber game, 4-2. The big hit was a check swing two-run double by Jarrett Parker down the left field line that was the difference and gave the Giants a winning 4-3 homestand.
At this point of the season the team is playing out the string and hoping to generate momentum for 2018. In the process, the Giants hope to avoid the dubious distinction of losing 100 games which is simply embarrassing. They have played better following the All-Star break when they were 34-56 on July 9. On August 23 they’re 52-77 and have won four straight series at home for the first time since Aug.-Sept. 2014. They only need to win 11 of their final 33 games to avoid triple digit defeats.
Offense was at a premium for both teams. The Giants got a leadoff double from Gorkys Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson singled to put runners at first and third. Following a walk to Parker to load the bases with nobody out, Buster Posey hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez but they failed to turn it into a big inning.
In the 7th, Denard Span doubled and Hernandez was hit by a pitch. Tomlinson struck out looking but Parker on the first pitch of his at-bat tried to hold up his swing and bounced the ball just inside the third base bag beating the defensive shift by the Brewers. “You hear good things happen when you put the ball in play and he did,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I don’t think that’s a swing he was looking for on a first pitch but it’s a break for us, we’ll take it.”
Although it was a no-decision for Matt Moore, he’s now delivered three great outings and that’s saying something given his 4-12 record. He lowered his ERA from 5.54 to 5.38. He pitched six innings, allowing just five hits and a run, only two walks, and notched six strikeouts. In his last three starts, Moore has combined to allow five runs in 20 1/3 innings (2.21 ERA), 14 hits, six walks, and 19 strikeouts.
“I’m through being frustrated with the way the first few months went but it’s something that I think I’m better off for,” Moore said. “I’ve learned a lot of things from rattling off three or four bad ones in a row. It’s not a good feeling, it’s not easy to go out there and trust your stuff, so for me, it’s just a matter of taking it day by day.”
The Giants got singles from Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval in the 8th. A wild pitch advanced runners to second and third and rookie Carlos Moncrief hit a sacrifice fly to center to provide insurance for new closer Sam Dyson. Dyson is now 12 of 13 in save opportunities since being acquired from the Rangers on June 6.
As a footnote for Giants fans, the Dodgers’ Rich Hill was perfect through eight innings in Pittsburgh but a fielding error in the ninth ended the perfecto. Leading off the bottom of the 10th, Josh Harrison homered just over the left field wall breaking up the no-hitter as the Pirates beat LA, 1-0.
The Giants now head to Phoenix for a weekend series with the DiamondBacks before moving onto San Diego for another three games. Ty Blach (8-9, 4.59 ERA) is scheduled to face Zack Greinke (14-6, 3.16 ERA) in the opener on Friday night.
Ryan Leong is a San Francisco native and covers all Bay Area sports teams as a correspondent for ESPN radio and wire services. He is a former sports anchor for KCBS and has reported on over 3,600 live games since 1998.