Michael Conforto

What we learned as Conforto, Giants beat Correa, Twins

Michael Conforto's three-run home capped the Giants' four-run first inning.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- On a day marked by Carlos Correa’s first game against the Giants since their infamous contract agreement fell apart, it was an impact offensive player who actually signed with San Francisco that made the biggest difference.

The Giants scored four runs in the first inning, capped by a three-run home run from Michael Conforto, to open a commanding lead, and the bullpen took it from there for a 4-1 win to begin a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

Giants reliever John Brebbia was the opener Monday at Target Field and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 first inning. He handed off the ball to Sean Manaea, who didn’t allow a run and tied a season high with eight strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings and earned the win.

It was the Giants’ sixth win in their last seven games. They are now one win away from reaching the .500 mark for the first time since they were 3-3 on April 6.

Here are three takeaways from the Giants’ win:

Early rally

The Giants began their seven-game road trip in the Midwest with a bang. It took the Twins a whopping 30 pitches to record a single out.

LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski walked, followed by a J.D. Davis double and a towering three-run homer by Conforto.

Blake Sabol drew an 11-pitch walk to keep the rally going before rookie Casey Schmitt grounded out for the first out of the game.

It was 4-0 Giants in the blink of an eye.

Over the Giants’ current 6-1 stretch, they have scored at least four runs in all six of those victories. The offense is starting to find its rhythm.

No Correa revenge

Correa only spent one brief morning believing he would don a Giants uniform for the next 13 seasons. It was Dec. 20, 2022, the day he was scheduled to be announced as the franchise’s new cornerstone at shortstop.

Instead, the Giants backed away from the deal over concerns with his ankle, and Correa flew out of San Francisco in pursuit of another free-agent contract. 

Five months later, there was Correa across the diamond wearing a Twins jersey Monday night at Target Field.

Unlike San Francisco’s other free-agent sweetheart Aaron Judge, Correa didn’t homer in his first at-bat against the Giants. The star shortstop did notch a single and double in four at-bats but was stranded on base both times.

Conforto crushing

"This is the Michael Conforto everybody expects to see,” Giants play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming said on the NBC Sports Bay Area broadcast. 

On the very next pitch, Conforto crushed a 413-foot homer into the San Francisco bullpen in center field. 

He now has smacked five homers in his last 11 games and has nine on the season. Conforto, who was batting .168 with a .597 OPS on May 9 before this power surge, is becoming the reliable middle-of-the-order option the Giants had in mind when they signed him to a two-year, $36 million contract this offseason.

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