Giants Observations

What we learned as Giants rookies fuel win vs. Braves

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants, as they've done now three times this week, avoided a sweep and salvaged the final game of a three-game series.

Tristan Beck (ND, 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K) got the starting nod against Atlanta Braves lefty Jared Shuster (ND, 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) and impressed early while the Giants' offense, behind their rookies, finally came alive in a nationally televised game at Oracle Park.

San Francisco now is 1.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL's final wild-card spot.

Here are three observations from the Giants' 8-5 win over the Braves.

That has to feel good

Casey Schmitt, for the first time in 201 at-bats, sent a ball over the wall for a home run.

With the Giants leading 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Schmitt crushed a changeup 426 feet to left field for his third homer of the season.

After bursting onto the scene in early May, the Giants' rookie infielder struggled mightily throughout the months of June and July and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on May 6 after hitting .205/.258/.290 with two home runs, 25 RBI and 56 strikeouts in his first three months in the big leagues.

Earned a rotation spot?

Beck has been a very pleasant surprise for the Giants this season and has cemented his role as one of the go-to long relievers out of the bullpen. In 28 previous appearances, Beck posted a 3.34 ERA in 67 1/3 innings pitched with 57 strikeouts and 18 walks.

On Sunday, he toed the rubber for his first MLB start and was a mix of an opener and the bulk-innings arm the Giants often deploy in bullpen games. Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters before the game that Beck would not be a typical opener and could be extended multiple innings, but wouldn't go very deep into the game.

Essentially, Beck was a traditional starter. And after his outing on Sunday, he made his case for it to stay that way. Beck threw four perfect innings and then surrendered a walk, three hits and three runs before departing with one out in the top of the fifth.

He also became the 13th different starting pitcher the Giants have used this season. With the rotation devoid of traditional starters, the 27-year-old rookie could be in consideration every fifth day.

Leave it to the rooks

Before the game, Kapler told reporters that both outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Mitch Haniger have a chance to return this week in the upcoming series against the Cincinnati Reds, which means at least two roster moves are coming.

Rookie outfielders Luis Matos, Heliot Ramos and Wade Meckler could be vulnerable in this situation. Two of them have made their case to stay in recent days.

Meckler has put together great at-bats and has shined defensively after a rough start to his major league career, while Matos has been seeing the ball well as of late and is 6-for-15 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI in seven games since his return on Aug 20.

Patrick Bailey has been the Giants' only consistent rookie offensively this season and delivered in a big way on Sunday.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Bailey smoked a three-run double into right field that gave the Giants a 6-3 lead.

Between Bailey, Schmitt, Meckler and Matos, the four rookies were 3-for-9 with one homer, 4 RBI, three runs and a walk on Sunday.

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