San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Gausman sparkles, but offense stays dull
Down the left side of the infield and with their offense still underperforming, the Giants wound up Kevin Gausman and watched him go, but the rest of the team didn’t come with him, and things unraveled when he left.
The righthander, using just his splitfinger fastball and fourseam fastball, worked eight innings and allowed two hits, a walk and a run while matching his career high with 11 strikeouts. He left with the game tied, and reliever Gregory Santos, making his second bigleague appearance, gave up a walk to open the ninth, then a tworun homer by Jesús Aguilar, turning the tide in Miami’s eventual 52 win at Oracle Park.
The Giants’ top two relievers, Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee, both had worked the previous two games and were unavailable.
“We have to trust our other bullpen arms to get outs for us,” said manager Gabe Kapler, adding that he didn’t secondguess using both men the previous night with a fourrun lead. “Santos was so lights out against this team last time out, we felt good about him.”
A solo homer by Mike Yastr
zemski into McCovey Cove in the bottom of the inning was too little, too late.
“Obviously, we want to give him more runs to work with,” outfielder Alex Dickerson said of Gausman, who has a 2.14 ERA but just one win to his credit. “He was incredible, as he has been the majority of starts since he’s been here. He’s a nightmare to face.”
The loss was just the second of the year at home for San Francisco, but it underscored the team’s underwhelming offense. The Giants’ 76 runs are third fewest in the league; their .214 batting average is second worst.
“It’s just how it is in April, it can be inconsistent,” Dickerson said. “You’re seeing a lot better atbats up and down, like we're pretty close to exploding.”
Marlins starter Pablo López was just as tough as Gausman in the early going; the Giants’ only baserunner in the first four innings was Dickerson, who reached on an error by Jon
Berti in the second. Dickerson was also the team’s second baserunner, leading off the fifth with a double to left, and López walked the next batter, Buster Posey. Both moved up on a wild pitch, enabling Dickerson to score on Austin Slater’s bouncer to third.
Going into seventh, the Marlins had just one hit and walk against Gausman, but with two outs, Berti smacked his first homer of the season to left center to tie it up.
The Giants were without shortstop Brandon Crawford, who was a late scratch with quadriceps tightness, and third baseman Evan Longoria, who remained out with hamstring tightness. With second baseman Donovan Solano already on the injured list with a calf strain, the Giants called Jason Vosler up from the alternate site in Sacramento on Saturday. Even with Vosler’s addition, though, Mauricio Dubón is the only true shortstop available when Crawford is out; Vosler is a corner infielder and outfielder.
Vosler pinch hit for Gausman in the eighth and fouled out in his first bigleague atbat; there is a chance he will be in the lineup Sunday, Kapler said.
Both teams turned in some spectacular plays, including Slater’s leap at the fence in center for a drive by Garrett Cooper in the second and a spiffy play by second baseman Tommy La Stella in the fourth. Aguilar hit a bouncer that La Stella had to race to his left for, knocking it down with a lunge and then throwing off balance to narrowly get the out and end the inning.
Brandon Belt singled in the seventh and doubled in the ninth to extend his streak of reaching base safely against Miami to 31 games.