After breaking out of their offensive funk Saturday, the San Francisco Giants will try to continue their revival Sunday when they host the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Giants snapped their five-game losing streak Saturday by hammering the Cardinals, 13-7. They powered up with a grand slam from Wilmer Flores and two-run homers from Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf after scoring just five runs in their previous four games.
That was Ruf’s first homer in 27 games and 100 at bats. He had 16 homers in 262 at bats last year.
“Darin, he needed that — we all needed that,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
The Giants had lost seven of their previous eight games while getting outscored 51-23.
The slump-breaking victory came with a cost, though, because first baseman Brandon Belt exited the game in the eighth inning after suffering neck stiffness during the game.
Belt drew three walks and scored two runs Saturday in his first game back from the COVID-19 list. Kapler said Belt began feeling discomfort earlier in the game and he is considered day-to-day with the ailment.
Right-hander Jakob Junis (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will get the starting pitching assignment for the Giants as they bid for a split of this four-game series at Oracle Park.
Junis has pitched five scoreless innings in each of his two outings this season. He has struck out 10 batters and walked only one while allowing seven hits.
He is 0-0 with a 2.87 ERA in four career appearances against the Cardinals, including three starts.
Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.16 ERA) is coming off a 7-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. After throwing 12 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous two starts, Hudson allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings on Tuesday.
“I forced them to swing the bat,” Hudson said. “I was living and dying by the ground ball, I guess.”
“‘Dak’ was good,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He got ahead of a lot of hitters. I think the first 15 out of 18 he got ahead of.”
Hudson is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four career appearances against the Giants, including two starts.
The Cardinals also have picked up their offense while scoring 27 runs in their past four games. They had 14 hits and worked three walks in Saturday’s loss.
“I liked what our offense did,” Marmol said. “We had opportunities, we took advantage of some and left some guys on, but overall there’s some bright spots in what we did today.”
Dylan Carlson is in a 6-for-16 upturn with a double, a homer and four RBIs over the past six games — matching his run production for April. Rookie Juan Yepez is 7-for-16 with three doubles with in four games since his recall from Triple-A Memphis.
Catcher Yadier Molina is 10-for-32 during his seven-game hitting streak that lifted his batting average from .138 to .230. After hitting just .188 in April, Tyler O’Neill is 7-for-28 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and seven RBIs in seven games in May.
–Field Level Media