Giants beat Brewers, above .500 for first time in 2023

MILWAUKEE — After a disappointing start to the season, the Giants finally seem to be finding their groove.

With a blowout 15-1 victory over the Brewers at American Family Field on Friday night, the Giants (26-25) earned their ninth victory in their last 11 games and climbed above .500 for the first time. in 2023.

The San Francisco lineup hit 19 hits, including a trio of homers from Mitch Haniger, Brett Wisely and JD Davis. Haniger’s two-run shot on Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta – his first home run for the Giants outside of Mexico City – highlighted a second three-run, while Wisely’s three-run outburst capped a game-opening seven-point blast. In the third.

“Lots of good swings, obviously,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Good batsmen up and down the lineup. Even some of the at-bats that didn’t end well were grumpy at-bats and increased the number of throws. I think our guys did a good job from top to bottom.

The Brewers – already rocked by the loss of shortstop Willy Adames, who was hospitalized after being hit by a foul ball in the dugout at the bottom of the second – never recovered, collecting just one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings against southpaw Alex Wood.

Wood had yet to complete five innings in his first six appearances this year, but he delivered some much-needed length for the Giants on Friday, striking out five while throwing 93 pitches in his longest start to the season. Tristan Beck took care of the rest, shooting 3 1/3 scoreless innings to give his fellow relievers a break after the club’s bullpen game on Thursday.

San Francisco’s pitching team hasn’t allowed more than four runs in 12 straight games, the longest active streak on the Majors.

“The boys scored a bunch of points for me,” Wood said with a smile. “They wanted to see me get that sixth round today. It was good. I couldn’t stop thinking about it in the third when they scored several points. It was great. Anytime you get that support, it’s great. I hope they will continue to do so on each of my departures.

The Giants stumbled out of the gate this season, going just 6-13 in their first 19 games, but they managed to turn things around by going 20-12 in 32 games since April 22.

Several factors have influenced their recent surge, including the off work of their bullpen (0.88 ERA over the last 11 games), a hot streak from Michael Conforto (.368 batting average with seven homers and 16 RBI over his last 15 games) and the arrival of ready-made rookies like Casey Schmitt, Patrick Bailey and Wisely, who combined to go 8 for 15 with seven RBIs in the bottom third of the roster on Friday.

All of the positive developments added to the Giants’ first winning record since last August, although they still have work to do in the National League West, where they sit in third place behind the Dodgers (31-21) and the D-backs (29-21).

“It’s cool to finally be on that bump,” Wood said. “We took it one day at a time. It feels like you have the pieces on both sides of the ball. … It’s nice to see and feel that we’re playing our brand of baseball. We’re hitting, the bullpen has been great the last two weeks, the kids are contributing to it. We have to keep rolling. I hope we are starting to find our rhythm. This is what we expect to see day after day. »

Like Conforto, Haniger got off to a slow start at the plate after missing the first three weeks of the season with an oblique strain, but he’s also starting to show signs of coming out of his prolonged slump. The 32-year-old veteran entered Friday hitting .193 with a .521 OPS in 24 games, but he had three hits and four runs against the Brewers, a season high, showing the type of production the Giants were planning. when they signed. him to a three-year, $43.5 million contract in the offseason.

Haniger said he’s mostly been working on smoothing things out with his load and staying in his legs, which he hopes will help him settle into a better rhythm at home plate.

“It’s about making adjustments,” Haniger said. “Not the first month I imagined to start the year. I really want to produce more and live more. At the end of the day, I just have to keep working hard and making adjustments. It will come. He always has everything for me. my career. You go through ups and downs. You just have to learn from it and make adjustments.

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