Sean Manaea

What we learned as Manaea shines in Giants' win over Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES -- After making a mental mistake that helped cost the Giants a chance to win Thursday's series opener at Dodger Stadium, Mike Yastrzemski took the blame. But he also had some strong words about the general brand of baseball the Giants have played in the second half. 

Yastrzemski said the Giants need to have "a little bit more edge in every game." He said they had a tendency to "come out flat" and needed to "take a little more pride in our work. He said they should have felt embarrassed with Thursday's performance. 

"You just have to wear that for the next 10 hours until we get to play again," Yastrzemski said. 

The beauty of the baseball schedule is the fact that your next opportunity is always just a day away, and Yastrzemski didn't waste any time on Friday. The outfielder blasted a two-run shot in the fourth inning Friday and Sean Manaea did the rest, leading the Giants to a 5-1 win that got them back to .500 and was just their sixth on the road since July 19.

Manaea took a shutout through seven and Camilo Doval got Tyler Rogers out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth. When a couple of rookies added on an inning later, the Giants had some much-needed breathing room. With the win, they remained three games behind the Chicago Cubs for the final postseason spot in the NL and picked up a full game on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mighty Manaea

Manaea's agent, Scott Boras, was at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, and he surely loved what he saw Friday. The left-hander's opt-out appears to be a coin-flip decision, but against one of the league's best lineups, Manaea looked like someone who could seek a larger or longer deal this winter. 

Manaea needed just 85 pitches to get through his seven innings and he never really broke a sweat. When the Dodgers got a leadoff single in the seventh, he quickly erased the runner with a double play. 

Since moving back into the rotation, Manaea has allowed just four earned runs over three starts. He has lowered his FIP to 3.97, a number that front offices will trust a lot more than his 4.51 ERA. 

Rookie Watch

The Giants had three rookies at the bottom of their lineup, with Patrick Bailey batting in front of Marco Luciano and Tyler Fitzgerald. It took a while, but the group ended up having a huge night. 

Luciano picked up a hit and a stolen base in the seventh and then smoked a 111.8 mph single up the middle in the top of the ninth. He jogged home when Fitzgerald pulled a low curveball down the left field line for his first career homer. Fitzgerald became the eighth Giant to pick up his first homer this season.

Thairo Time

Thairo Estrada padded the lead with a loud homer in the sixth, his 13th of the year. Estrada jumped on a hanging cutter from young right-hander Gavin Stone and hit a no-doubter to the bleachers in left. 

Estrada is one homer away from tying his career-high, set last year. He already has set highs in doubles and stolen bases and should finish with a higher OPS than he had in a breakout 2022 season. Estrada has a chance to finish at four Wins Above Replacement and he'll pretty easily lead Giants position players in fWAR.

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