Win keeps play­offs re­al­is­tic

Dick­er­son goes deep as pinch hit­ter, Bart hits two dou­bles

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTING GREEN - By John Shea

Are the Giants play­ing must­win games this week? If they’re not must­win, they’re cer­tainly we­-re­ally-­ought-­to-­con­sider-them­must­-win.

The Giants pulled out a 5­2 vic­tory over Colorado on Tues­day night at Or­a­cle Park in their most im­por­tant game of the year — at least un­til Wed­nes­day night.

Austin Slater home­red to open the top of the first in­ning and reached base five times, and Alex Dick­er­son came off the bench in the sev­enth to break a 2­2 tie with his sec­ond homer since be­com­ing a new daddy.

Brandon Belt also got a huge pinch hit in the sev­enth, dou­bling off the cen­ter­field wall to score two runs and give the Giants a 5­2 edge.

And Joey Bart — yes, Joey Bart — hit his first two dou­bles since his third game in the big leagues, a nice sign for the Giants who placed another

catcher, Chad­wick Tromp, on the in­jured list Tues­day with a shoul­der is­sue.

What does it mean? It means the Giants still have a le­git­i­mate shot at the post­sea­son. They’re tied for the fi­nal play­off spot, though be­cause they’d lose the tiebreaker, they’d need to con­sider these fi­nal six games over five days, well, must­win.

“Ev­ery game is a must win,” Dick­er­son noted be­fore the game. “This is kind of the last stretch. A lot of teams are in it. You go out there and give it ev­ery­thing you’ve got and see what hap­pens.

“We know how im­por­tant ev­ery sin­gle game is. We know our sched­ule is not easy to fin­ish up. We’ll go out there and grind it out like we have all sea­son.”

The Giants lost another out­fielder when Luis Basabe limped off the field in the third in­ning af­ter ground­ing out. He reached for the back of his right leg, show­ing a pos­si­ble pulled ham­string, which would be bad news for a team run­ning out of out­field­ers.

Mike Yas­trzem­ski (calf strain) missed his fifth straight game, and Slater can’t play de­fense be­cause of a flexor strain in his el­bow. Dick­er­son had a scary mo­ment in the ninth in­ning Mon­day when drilled on the right el­bow, but X­rays were neg­a­tive.

Dick­er­son missed two games to be with his wife, Jen­nifer, who gave birth Sun­day to the cou­ple’s first child, a boy named Levi. Dick­er­son re­turned to the team Mon­day and got three hits, in­clud­ing a homer, and is turn­ing into the sec­ond com­ing of Mike Trout, who went on a home run bar­rage af­ter the birth of his first child.

Out­field depth is close to nonex­is­tent. With Basabe out, Daniel Robert­son moved from short­stop to left field and Darin Ruf shifted from left to right. Brandon Craw­ford came off the bench to play short.

That set up a Robert­son-Mauri­cio Dubón-­ruf align­ment, ba­si­cally three in­field­ers in the out­field. As it turned out, Robert­son made the play of the game in the sev­enth in­ning when gun­ning down speedy Gar­rett Hamp­son, who tried to turn a sin­gle into a dou­ble.

It was Robert­son’s sixth ca­reer game in the out­field, first since 2018. It could have been a big in­ning, but the Rock­ies set­tled for one run on for­mer Giants out­fielder Kevin Pil­lar’s dou­ble off Tyler Rogers.

That made it 2­2, and the Giants an­swered with three runs in the bot­tom of the in­ning on Dick­er­son’s and Belt’s dif­fer­ence­mak­ing pinch hits.

Drew Smyly, in his penul­ti­mate start of the reg­u­lar sea­son, pitched five score­less in­nings be­fore run­ning into trou­ble in the sixth and need­ing Trevor Cahill to bail him out.

Smyly walked Pil­lar on five pitches, and Pil­lar stole sec­ond, the Rock­ies’ third steal on Smyly’s watch — the lefty did a poor job keep­ing run­ners close — two by Pil­lar and one by Matt Kemp, who hadn’t stolen a base since 2016.

Pil­lar took third on Trevor Story’s sin­gle to right and scored on Charlie Black­mon’s grounder to sec­ond base­man Dono­van Solano, who made a bad back­handed flip to Craw­ford, ru­in­ing any chance for a dou­ble play.

Tony Wat­son and Sam Coon­rod shut down the Rock­ies over the fi­nal two in­nings, Coon­rod earn­ing the save.

Jeff Chiu / As­so­ci­ated Press

Austin Slater (13) cel­e­brates with Dono­van Solano af­ter hit­ting a solo home run in the first in­ning against the Rock­ies.

Jeff Chiu / As­so­ci­ated Press

Alex Dick­er­son runs the bases af­ter hit­ting a solo home run off Colorado’s Jairo Diaz in the sev­enth in­ning. The Giants added two more runs in the in­ning.

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