Dubón homer helps Gi­ants win, close in on play­off spot.

Pitcher en­ters in re­lief to con­tain Colorado bats

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By John Shea

The Gi­ants found a new job for Lo­gan Webb, and it’s a doozy. Meet the team’s new bulk pitcher.

Webb’s re­cent strug­gles in the ro­ta­tion were too sub­stan­tial for the Gi­ants to keep re­ly­ing on him in the same role, so they the switched it up and used a re­liever to start a game for the first time in 2020.

It worked. Lefty Caleb Bara­gar tossed a 10pitch first in­ning, and Webb en­tered in the sec­ond and pitched some of his best ball of the sea­son, giv­ing the Gi­ants an op­por­tu­nity to pull out Wed­nes­day’s 7­2 vic­tory over the Rock­ies.

Mauri­cio Dubón’s three­run homer broke a 2­2 tie, and Webb and his fel­low re­liev­ers took it from there to push the 28­27 Gi­ants (.50909 win­ning per­cent­age) into the first of two wild­card spots, just ahead of the 29­28 Reds


With one game left with the Rock­ies, a Thurs­day mati­nee, and four with the Padres, the Gi­ants are in po­si­tion to reach the post­sea­son for the first time in four years, but they’ll need to keep win­ning be­cause plenty of con­tenders re­main in com­pe­ti­tion for play­off spots.

It was Webb’s turn to start Wed­nes­day, but he brought a 5.73 ERA into the game, 8.86 in his five pre­vi­ous starts. Af­ter re­tir­ing 10 of 19 bat­ters in his pre­vi­ous start, he ad­mit­ted he was “think­ing about too much stuff ” in­clud­ing about his me­chan­ics.

Man­ager Gabe Kapler had vowed to keep Webb in the ro­ta­tion, but the de­ci­sion was tweaked, and he waited un­til Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to an­nounce that Bara­gar was get­ting the start.

“With Bara­gar, we’re con­fi­dent he has the ca­pa­bil­ity to pound the strike zone and po­ten­tially get two left­handed hit­ters out for us,” Kapler said. “It doesn’t al­ways work out that way, but we’re hav­ing Bara­gar start the game for at least that rea­son.”

Bara­gar made quick work of Raimel Tapia (who bats lefty), Kevin Pil­lar and Trevor Story, and Kapler left in Bara­gar for one more bat­ter in the sec­ond, but when Char­lie Black­mon (an­other lefty) dou­bled, it was time for Webb.

By open­ing with Bara­gar, Webb didn’t face the top of the Rock­ies’ lineup — their best hit­ters — un­til the third in­ning when Tapia reached on an in­field sin­gle and scored on Story’s sin­gle.

Third base­man Evan Lon­go­ria, who played some of his smoothest de­fense of the sea­son, mak­ing plays from many an­gles, home­red off Ryan Castel­lani in the fourth in­ning to tie the score.

The Rock­ies moved ahead in the fifth when Tapia dou­bled over left fielder Alex Dick­er­son’s glove to score Gar­rett Hamp­son from first base and make it 2­1, Rock­ies, and the Gi­ants re­sponded in the home half with a four­run rally.

Bran­don Craw­ford’s sac­ri­fice fly made it 2­2, and af­ter Lon­go­ria walked, Castel­lani was re­placed by Yency Al­monte, who had given up one homer all sea­son. Al­monte threw a sec­ond­pitch slider to Dubón, who eas­ily cleared the wall in left­cen­ter, a three­run homer that de­cided the game.

The Gi­ants added two runs in the eighth when Joey Bart tripled to right­cen­ter and scored on a sin­gle by Steven Dug­gar, who was added to the ros­ter Wed­nes­day to replace in­jured Luis Basabe, and Dick­er­son dou­bled and scored on a sin­gle by Bran­don Belt, his 500th ca­reer RBI.

Dick­er­son had three hits and is bat­ting .500 (17­for­34) against Colorado with 11 ex­tra base hits and 10 RBIs in nine games.

Webb pitched into the sev­enth in­ning and was re­lieved af­ter yield­ing a one­out sin­gle to Hamp­son. Webb threw 84 pitches and was charged with two runs on seven hits in 51⁄3 in­nings.

Tyler Rogers, who made his­tory Tues­day by win­ning a game the same day as Min­nesota’s Tay­lor Rogers, the first time twins were win­ners on the same day, re­tired two of three bat­ters Wed­nes­day to com­plete the sev­enth, and left­ies Tony Wat­son and Sam Sel­man pitched the eighth and ninth, re­spec­tively.

Pho­tos by Scott Straz­zante / The Chronicle

Top: Mauri­cio Dubón cel­e­brates his go­ahead three­run homer with Evan Lon­go­ria in the fifth in­ning.

Above: Lo­gan Webb en­tered in the sec­ond in­ning and left in the sev­enth, earn­ing pitch­ing credit for the win.

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