BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Mike Yastrzemski’s 12th inning home run led the Giants to their third extra inning walk off win in four days Sunday afternoon, a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.
The win enabled San Francisco to return to the .500 mark at 50-50, 100 games into the season, and tie Arizona for second place in the NL West, albeit 16 games behind the first place Dodgers. It also improved the Giants record to a blazing 15-3 since June 29th.
Yastrzemski’s ninth home run in just 48 games in the Majors, and first career walk-off, came off Mets reliever Robert Gsellman (1-2) who had entered the game in the 11th. It capped a day that saw the Giants youth brigade continue to impress by playing some of the best baseball in the game and climb into the mix for a wild card spot.
Giants starting pitcher Conner Menez, a Hollister native just called up from Sacramento, was solid in his Major League debut. Menez gave up solo homers to Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario in the second inning, but was otherwise impressive, striking out six in five innings and fooling a number of Mets batters badly including recent home run derby champion Pete Alonso who was so frustrated that he broke his bat over his knee after fanning in the third when Menez struck out the side.
After Menez departure, Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Will Smith each pitched scoreless frames to help take the game into extra innings. Mark Melancon continued New York’s woes in the tenth and 11th before Trevor Gott (6-0) pitched the 12th to earn the win. San Francisco’s seven hurlers ended up limiting the Mets to just five hits.
Zach Green also made an impressive debut for the Giants, getting a single and a double in his first two Major League at bats while playing flawlessly at third base. His fourth inning double drove in Buster Posey to tie the game at two, also giving the Carmichael native the first RBI of his career. Green already had 23 home runs and 59 RBI’s for Triple-A Sacramento at the time of his call-up.
The Giants return to action tomorrow night for the start of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson (3-2, 4.87) is scheduled to take the mound against Alec Mills (0-0, 4.50) in the opener.
The Giants are now a Major League best 14-3 in July, including 5-0 in extra innings since the All-Star break. For the season, San Francisco improved to a MLB best 9-2 in extra inning games.
San Francisco is also 22-10 in one-run games and 13-4 in games decided in their final at bat.
Prior to the game, the Giants made a series of moves to make room for Menez and Green. Veteran left-hander Derek Holland, 32, who led San Francisco in starts, innings and strikeouts last season was designated for assignment. The team also designated Ryder Jones, removing him from their 40 man roster. Within seven days, Holland and Jones must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable waivers. The Giants also optioned Ty Blach back to Sacramento.
Menez became the team’s tenth different pitcher to start a game this year.