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What we learned as Flores' multi-homer game fuels Giants' win

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Jun 7, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Wilmer Flores (41) follows through on his home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When Bob Melvin first visited Globe Life Field years ago, he looked at the spacious outfield and high walls and wondered how anyone would ever hit a ball into the seats. The ballpark has become more hitter-friendly over the years, but still, Friday's win was an impressive showing for the Giants' lineup. 

San Francisco bashed three homers for a second straight game, beating the reigning champion Texas Rangers 5-2 in their first visit to Arlington since former manager Bruce Bochy took over. A lineup that had just two multi-homer games coming into this trip got a pair from Wilmer Flores and a go-ahead shot from Michael Conforto. 

The Giants wasted some good opportunities early, and when the Rangers scratched a pair across in the fifth it looked like Logan Webb might have another night of tough luck. But Conforto jumped on a center-cut 3-2 cutter from David Robertson and swung the game. 

The victory was the second straight for the Giants and got them back within two games of .500. The Rangers, who have dealt with both injuries and underperformance, dropped to 30-33.

Serious Flo 

Flores had just one home run through his first 50 games this year. He now has four through 52 games.

Two days after he hit a grand slam at Chase Field, Flores drilled solo shots in the second and fourth innings.

The multi-homer game was the ninth of his career and first since July 2023 in Cincinnati, and it was the third this year by a Giant. Flores joined Matt Chapman, who did it at Petco Park during the opening series, and Thairo Estrada, who did it when San Francisco visited the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Giants will be without LaMonte Wade Jr. for at least the next couple of weeks. Flores' early-season slump was so pronounced that the staff gave Trenton Brooks a few starts to try and make up for some of the lost production when Wade got hurt, but it looks like Flores is ready to reclaim his role as an everyday player in the heart of the lineup. 

Getting deep

Webb sailed through the first four innings, striking out five and facing just one batter over the minimum. After hitting 94 mph just five times in his first 13 starts, he did it three times in the first two innings Friday, including a 94.8 mph sinker to Jonah Heim that was his fastest pitch of the year. 

The Rangers finally got to Webb in the fifth, although even that inning didn't look too different from the rest of his start. Texas had three singles and a hustle double in the inning, scoring twice, but two of the balls were hit on the ground and a third was a broken-bat flare to right that left the bat at 69 mph. 

Webb came back after that inning to retire six straight, getting through the seventh for an eighth time this season. He jumped back on top of MLB's innings leaderboard. 

Can't stop, won't stop

Heliot Ramos started in center for the first time this season, but he wasn't really tested out there. Right now, he doesn't really seem to be facing much resistance at the plate, either. 

Ramos had three more hits, raising his average to .320 and his OPS to .931. The multi-hit game was Ramos' sixth in his last 10 and the three hits were a season-high.  

Among NL players with at least 100 plate appearances, Ramos ranks fifth in average and fourth in OPS. His ability to play center was helpful on Friday, too, since it allowed Bob Melvin to go with his preferred outfield alignment. Conforto, playing left, hit his eighth homer of the year and first since returning from the IL.

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