SAN FRANCISCO -- In search of consecutive series victories for the first time in over a month, the Giants looked to bounce back from a quiet loss on Tuesday in the rubber match against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday at Oracle Park.
Tuesday's defeat was the Giants' first loss to the Guardians since July 17, 2017. On Wednesday, San Francisco salvaged the series win with a 6-5 victory over Cleveland in 10 innings, thanks to more late-game heroics from LaMonte Wade Jr.
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The Giants haven't lost a series to the Guardians since 2005.
The Giants sent rookie left-handed pitcher Kyle Harrison (ND, 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 K) to the mound against Guardians lefty Logan Allen (ND, 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K).
Here are three observations from the Giants' extra-innings win.
San Francisco Giants
Put to work early
Prior to Wednesday's outing, Harrison's six home runs allowed were the most in a player's first four outings in Giants franchise history. That trend continued early in his start against the Guardians after Harrison surrendered a booming two-run homer to left off the bat of José Ramírez in the top of the first.
Lefties torched Harrison through his first four starts, batting 8-for-15 (.533 AVG) with two doubles and three homers, compared to righties, who were batting 11-for-63 (.175). In the first, hitters from both sides of the plate were seeing the ball well against the Giants lefty.
Harrison was put to the test early, throwing 56 pitches while surrendering five runs (three earned) on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
After a busy first two innings, Harrison settled in but was relieved by lefty Alex Wood in the top of the fifth after throwing 82 pitches through four innings. Wood pitched four solid, scoreless innings in relief.
This defense won't win championships
The Giants made it a point of emphasis to improve defensively last offseason after a rough 2022 in which they committed the fifth-most errors (100) with an MLB-worst minus-53 Defensive Runs Saved and the third-fewest Outs Above Average (minus-33).
Prior to Wednesday's game, the Giants had committed the most errors (100), with a slightly better minus-16 Defensive Runs Saved, but with the sixth-most Outs Above Average (18) recorded this season. Errors alone don't tell the complete story, and there are a handful of tell-tale defensive metrics, but in the series against the Guardians, that "E" at the end of the box score reared its ugly head a few times too many.
After committing three costly errors in the series opener on Monday and another on Tuesday, a throwing error by third baseman Casey Schmitt with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the first allowed two Guardians runners to score, extending Cleveland's lead to 4-0.
Prior to Wednesday's game, the Giants had committed 200 errors over the last two seasons, which is the second-most behind only the Pittsburgh Pirates (202).
Procrastination at its finest
The Giants' offense woke up in the series against the Rockies and has been better lately, averaging 5.71 runs per game while batting .312/.371/.559 with a .930 OPS since Sept. 5 after a brutal mid-summer slumber, but went cold Tuesday night and throughout most of Wednesday's game before a late rally fueled another comeback against an opposing team's bullpen.
Through six innings, the Giants appeared to be headed toward another one-run showing, which would have been the 35th time this season they've scored one or fewer runs in a game, surpassing the Oakland Athletics (34) for the most in MLB.
However, as they've done many times this season, the Giants staged another late-game comeback.
The Giants responded to the Guardians' four-run first with a Luis Matos two-out RBI single in the bottom half of the inning before the offense went quiet for five frames. Thairo Estrada doubled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and came around to score on Wilmer Flores' RBI single to right field, cutting Cleveland's lead to 5-2.
Joc Pederson was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the eighth and rookie catcher Patrick Bailey, who was activated off the 7-day concussion injured list before the game, followed with a single to put runners on first and third with no outs for J.D. Davis, who blasted a game-tying three-run home run to left field to even the score at five runs apiece.
Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval held the Guardians scoreless in the ninth and 10th innings before Davis and Brandon Crawford walked, with Bailey as the automatic runner at second, to load the bases with no outs in the 10th.
And for the second time in three days, Wade Jr. knocked in the game-winning run with, scoring Bailey from third on a sacrifice fly to left field.