Brandon Crawford got three more hits and drove in four runs as the San Francisco Giants beat the visiting Colorado Rockies 9-4 on Saturday to end a three-game skid.
Crawford reached on a bloop single in the second inning, had a two-run double in the third and homered in the sixth. The home run off reliever Chris Rusin was the fourth this season for Crawford and helped raised his batting average to .449 (31 for 69) in May.
Reds 5-0, Cubs 4-10 • Ian Happ hit his second home run of the doubleheader, Jason Heyward tied his career high with four RBIs and Jose Quintana allowed one hit in seven shutdown innings as Chicago earned a split at Cincinnati. In the first game, Billy Hamilton drew a bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning for Cincinnati.
Dodgers 4-5, Nationals 1-4 • Ross Stripling struck out a career-high nine in six innings, Max Muncy drove in two runs and Los Angeles won the opener on the way to a doubleheader sweep at Washington.
Braves 8, Marlins 1 • Sean Newcomb pitched six strong innings to win his fourth straight start, Johan Camargo and Ozzie Albies each drove in two runs, and Atlanta won at home.
Mets 5, Diamondbacks 4 • Devin Mesoraco hit a tying, two-run homer through Citi Field’s murky fog in the eighth inning, Wilmer Flores hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth and host New York won consecutive games for the first time in a month.
Padres 6, Pirates 2 • Clayton Richard allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings, Christian Villanueva homered and drove in two runs, and San Diego won at Pittsburgh.
A’s 5, Blue Jays 4 • Chad Pinder hit his first career grand slam and Oakland overcame a four-run deficit to win at Toronto.
White Sox 5, Rangers 3 • Jose Abreu homered and had three hits, Lucas Giolito tossed six innings and Chicago beat visiting Texas.
Indians 5, Astros 4 • Corey Kluber struck out 10 and Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes hit home runs to lead visiting Cleveland.
Red Sox 6, Orioles 3 • Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi hit consecutive home runs in the fifth inning at Fenway Park, and Boston beat Baltimore.
Yankees 8, Royals 3 • Gary Sanchez hit two of the Yankees’ five home runs as New York won at Kansas City.
Mariners 7, Tigers 2 • James Paxton threw a three-hitter in his second complete game in three starts as host Seattle won.
Rays 5, Angels 3 • Daniel Robertson hit his first career grand slam and Tampa Bay won its sixth straight, at Los Angeles.
Brewers 5, Twins 4 • Christian Yelich broke a tie with a solo home run in the eighth as Milwaukee won at Minnesota.
Nick Pivetta delivered the bounce-back start he needed Wednesday night, shutting the Giants out over five innings with seven strikeouts.
A high pitch count of 96 led to an early exit, but Pivetta mostly cruised after the first inning and exited with a 3-0 lead.
After needing 46 pitches to record just three outs in his six-run outing over the weekend in D.C., Pivetta threw 31 in the first inning against the Giants. But he was able to avoid early damage by striking out Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria on high four-seam fastballs with two men on.
The Giants had trouble catching up to Pivetta’s high four-seamer, with only Buster Posey putting the pitch in play for a single.
Through five starts, Pivetta has a 4.15 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and 10 walks in 39 innings.
Wednesday’s start was Pivetta’s eighth of the season and the fourth time he didn’t walk anyone. When he walks two batters or less in a game this season, he has a 2.18 ERA. When he walks more than two, his ERA is 15.00.
Over the last four games, Phillies starting pitchers have a 1.17 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and .154 opponents’ batting average.
PHILADELPHIA – The Giants did a lot wrong on Tuesday night. A lot. And yet somehow there they were, sending Buster Posey to the plate as the tying run with two outs in the eighth.
Posey rolled a Tommy Hunter pitch softly to third and the Giants went down quietly in the ninth. They lost 4-2 to the Phillies on a night when they were sloppy defensively and on the bases and did little but whiff at the plate. They’ve dropped the first two here after sweeping the Braves.
Here are the details…
— The biggest surprise this season might be how sloppy the defense has been. When Cesar Hernandez hit a double to the wall in the third, Austin Jackson dropped the ball three times, allowing Hernandez to cruise into third. He scored two batters later when Odubel Herrera’s grounder up the middle got under Alen Hanson’s glove. Hanson isn’t known for his defense, but Jackson was brought here to fix the issues in center field. The Giants have 11 errors through the first five games of this trip.
— A night after Zach Eflin set a new career-high in strikeouts, Aaron Nola did the same. He struck out 12 over seven dominant innings, allowing just a second-inning run on a Brandon Crawford groundout. Nola got 26 swinging strikes. This is becoming a bit of a trend for the Giants. They’re up nearly 5 percent from a year ago in strikeout rate.
— Jackson struck out three times. He has 35 strikeouts in 85 at-bats.
— With two outs in the fifth, Gregor Blanco on first, and Andrew McCutchen at the plate, Nola made a pickoff throw that was so close that the Phillies challenged the call. They were unsuccessful, but two pitches later, Nola did pick Blanco off. The Giants have had six runners picked off this season, the most in the majors. They had 11 runners picked off all of last season. Here’s another area they need to clean up.
— It could have been worse for Derek Holland. He gave up a couple of homers in the first three innings but managed to get through five. He was charged with three earned on six hits and two walks.
Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence haven’t been teammates for all that long, but we feel confident saying they currently hold the title of “best bromance in baseball.”
The two weren’t even together for Monday’s game, but still found a way to show how much they enjoy each other. Prior to Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, McCutchen showed off his socks for the day.
That would be an eerily accurate sock of Hunter Pence. It’s as if he were right there with the team.
That isn’t the case right now, though. Pence is recovering from a thumb injury. He’s been on the disabled list since late April and is currently in Triple-A on a rehab assignment.
As for wearing the socks during the game … well, that would be against Major League Baseball rules. McCutchen wore his standard uniform socks once things got underway, though we would like to believe he kept the Pence socks on underneath the regular ones for luck.
Oh, and about that luck … the Giants lost the game 11-0. McCutchen went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Given that baseball players tend to be a superstitious bunch, we wouldn’t expect to see McCutchen wearing the Pence socks any time soon.
Nola, 24, ranked sixth in the National League in ERA (2.17) and was third in WHIP (0.920) as of Monday. He has given the Phillies a chance to win in each of his seven starts, allowing two runs or less in six of those outings.
Nola (4-1, 2.17 ERA) has had no trouble going deep into starts, either. Nola has pitched at least seven innings in his last three starts and picked up the win in each. His last time out, Nola tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Marlins, surrendering just four hits and one walk while striking out seven.
“One of the things about Noles that’s so impressive is his ability to make in-game adjustments,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after Nola’s last start. “So he took a little off his fastball, starting mixing in his changeup. He saw that pitch was going to be very effective and he really used that pitch well to keep the opposing hitters off-balanced.”
Nola has struggled in two career starts against the Giants, however. Nola has given up 10 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings against San Francisco, and his 10.80 ERA against the team is his highest against any opponent he’s faced more than once.
Giants left-hander Derek Holland will face Nola on Tuesday. Holland has had a shaky start to the season, but he picked up his first win of 2018 in his last outing.
The 31-year-old gave up three runs on four hits in five innings against the Padres last Wednesday. The Giants have won in both of Holland’s last two starts after dropping their first four games with him on the mound. In his first season with San Francisco, Holland has registered 29 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Holland spent the first nine years of his Major League career in the American League and has never faced the Phillies in his 214 appearances. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals are the only other teams Holland has not pitched against.
Holland will try to cool off a Phillies offense that erupted for 12 hits and four homers on Monday night in a 11-0 win that ended the Giants’ four-game winning streak.
Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera homered twice in the game, as he extended his on-base streak to 36 games. It’s the longest streak for any Phillies player since Jimmy Rollins reached base safely in 38 consecutive games spanning the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
“I’m seeing the ball very well, and I’m just trying to hit the ball hard,” Herrera, who has a .938 OPS, told NBC Sports Philadelphia after Monday’s win. “Because when you hit the ball hard, anything can happen.”