Thairo Estrada

Giants snap seven-game home run drought in decisive win over Rays

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The Giants broke out of a major slump on Saturday, slugging five home runs while throttling the Tampa Bay Rays 11-2 at Tropicana Field.

San Francisco entered Saturday's matchup against Tampa Bay with a home run drought that had extended to seven games, with the Giants' offense managing to plate just 12 total runs across that span.

Their fortunes changed -- and changed quickly -- when second baseman Thairo Estrada blasted a 1-2 fastball into the left field bleachers to give the Giants a 2-1 lead, promptly opening the floodgates for a barrage of runs that soon followed.

Following the game, Estrada -- who finished Saturday's win with a pair of homers -- revealed that there weren't any adjustments that directly led to his standout performance. Rather, it was remaining confident in his previous approach.

"I didn't make many adjustments," Estrada said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "I just kept my same adjustment which is just looking for a good pitch to drive, and luckily we came up with the win."

Estrada then revealed that he and the rest of San Francisco's lineup didn't allow their recent offensive struggles to derail their belief that this is a team capable of lighting up the scoreboard.

The 28-year-old infielder stressed the importance of remaining patient through the long haul that is an MLB season, understanding that an early hurdle doesn't define an entire campaign.

"The conversation was all about going game-by-game, at-bat [to] at-bat, see your pitch," Estrada explained "The season is just starting, we have 162 games and we knew we were going to get out of this bad slump."

The inability to deliver with runners in scoring position had doomed the Giants' offense of late, including an abysmal 0-10 showing in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Rays.

That changed on Saturday, with San Francisco racking up three hits with RISP, including a two-run blast from LaMonte Wade Jr. with two outs in the top of the fifth inning that pushed the Giants' lead to 4-1.

Manager Bob Melvin explained the importance of the Giants' ability to deliver with runners on base in Saturday's win.

"Certainly the homers help," Melvin told reporters postgame. "Scoring first in the first inning, that was big for us too. Then to be able to add on, especially in the middle innings -- guys on base, got some big hits, hit some home runs. So it's a much better feeling today for sure."

Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler also went yard, flexing the middle of the lineup power the Giants so desperately sought when the pair were signed as free agents this past offseason.

Seven different San Francisco bats registered an RBI on Saturday, offering a glimpse of the kind of production this lineup is capable of when it's firing on all cylinders.

The scoring eruption served as a welcome sight for Logan Webb, who constantly has been deprived of adequate run support during his starts as the team's ace.

The victory improved the Giants' record to 6-9, placing them 3.5 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. While it will take more than one offensive outburst to truly believe that a high level of scoring output is sustainable, Saturday's win at minimum serves as a reminder that this San Francisco lineup cannot -- and should not -- be taken lightly by opposing pitching staffs.

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