SAN FRANCISCO -- As always, Max Muncy had a big impact on the result at Oracle Park. But this time, that helped the Giants come out on top.
Muncy misplayed a couple of grounders in the sixth inning and the Giants scratched across the go-ahead run against Clayton Kershaw. Their bullpen held on, clinching a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a raucous Saturday night crowd.
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With two on and no outs, Thairo Estrada hit a chopper to Muncy, who tried to start a double play instead of getting the lead runner, a decision that backfired because of Estrada's speed. Wilmer Flores followed with a hard grounder to third that looked like an inning-ending double play, but Muncy bobbled it twice and never got a throw off, allowing the runner on third to score.
On a night when Tristan Beck went five strong innings, Ryan Walker and Taylor Rogers got the lead to Camilo Doval, who picked up his first save in eight days. The win won't mean anything in the grand scheme of things for the Giants, but it was meaningful on a personal level for Doval and the man who called him into the game.
Doval will head into the final day of the season leading the National League in saves with 39. His quick inning gave Kai Correa his first win as an MLB manager.
The game ended when Patrick Bailey nailed Chris Taylor trying to steal second base.
San Francisco Giants
Here are the takeaways from the Giants' 79th win of the season.
Leave Them Wanting More
Beck's last chance to make a good impression on the staff couldn't have gone much better. The right-hander allowed just one run over five innings against one of the league's toughest lineups, scattering six hits and repeatedly working his way out of jams.
Beck twice ran his four-seamer up to 97 mph, continuing a late-season trend. Of his 13 pitches of at least 97.0 mph, six have come over the last week. That's a positive sign for a young pitcher who has had a long season.
Beck will finish his first MLB season with a 3.92 ERA in 33 appearances, 30 of them coming out of the bullpen. As they have looked to next season, Giants officials have repeatedly mentioned Beck alongside Keaton Winn and Kyle Harrison, two other young pitchers who will be in the mix for rotation spots next spring.
Tyler Fitzgerald made his MLB debut and picked up his first homer last weekend at Dodger Stadium. In the third inning Saturday, he picked up his first homer at Oracle Park and put Kershaw in his book.
Kershaw hung a curveball and Fitzgerald jumped on it, hitting a no-doubter about a dozen rows into the bleachers in left. It was an impressive swing from a young player who is putting himself in the conversation heading into the offseason. Fitzgerald might be the organization's fastest player, and he plans to spend all offseason working on the mechanics of playing center field, hopeful that he can compete for an opening day job next year.
Tip Your Cap
There's a chance that this was Kershaw's final appearance at Oracle Park, and it fit in with most of the rest. Kershaw tops out at 90 mph these days, but he can still dot his curveball and slider, and he had a young Giants lineup off-balance for 5 1/3 innings. Kershaw was charged with two runs, one coming on the homer and the other after Muncy's adventures at third.
The start was Kershaw's 28th at Oracle Park, his most at any visiting ballpark. He has a 1.69 ERA in 197 1/3 innings.