Keaton Winn

Winn ‘felt great' during solid outing in Giants' loss to Angels

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SAN FRANCISCO – Keaton Winn’s final pitching line Saturday wasn’t exactly promising -- but the way the Giants’ right-hander threw certainly was.

Making his second start since missing 20 games while on the injured list because of a forearm strain, Winn pitched six innings for the first time since late April. He allowed five hits and three runs – mediocre stats at best – and set a season-high with 91 pitches in San Francisco's 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Winn’s command was much better than it had been. His sinker was particularly effective, generating 11 swing-and-misses. Winn’s 17 swing-and-misses overall were one shy of the 18 that Angels starter Patrick Sandoval and relievers Luis García and Carlos Estévez had combined.

“Definitely felt the best I had in at least my last five starts today,” Winn said. “The whole start felt great aside from maybe one pitch, and it ended up being a two-run homer.”

That pitch was a 93 mph sinker in the sixth inning to Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe – the only pitch that was in the zone during the at-bat. O’Hoppe crushed the ball 467 feet with an exit velocity of 110.1 mph for a home run that tied the game 3-3.

“It was just one pitch, a fastball that wasn’t located well,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “Everything else he did really well today.”

Winn, who also served up a two-out home run to Mickey Moniak in the second inning, has been taken deep in each of his last five starts. He also gave up a home run during a minor league rehab start on June 4.

Winn had lost four consecutive starts heading into Saturday and had allowed at least five runs in each of those games, while his ERA took a dramatic leap from 3.18 to 6.94.

His ERA dipped slightly following Saturday’s outing, but Winn sounded more interested in the way he pitched rather than the numbers.

The 26-year-old told reporters at Oracle Park that he had made some minor tweaks to his pitching mechanics after studying video of himself in between starts. Those tweaks were on full display Saturday.

The Giants’ right-hander has had a lot of problems lately when going through the lineup a second time. Against the Angels, Winn gave up a walk and two hits the second time around but none of the three runners advanced.

“It was just becoming more synced with myself,” Winn said. “I threw a lot of slide-steps today and that really helped just sync everything up. Just small tweaks. Sort of just getting out of sync versus being in sync. That’s what it was.”

Winn developed a small blister during the day and had to be checked on by Melvin, trainer Dave Groeschner and pitching coach Bryan Price.

Beyond that, Winn sounded mostly pleased with his day.

“Overall everything felt like it did in the beginning of the year,” Winn said. “Just hope to build on this going forward. A little bit of a frustrating loss but we’ll grind through it.”

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