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DeSclafani sparks Giants on mound, at plate in win vs. Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Anthony DeSclafani busted some long slumps Thursday night at Oracle Park.
The Giants starting pitcher, who was 0-for-his-previous-40 at the plate after striking out in the second inning, recorded his first hit and RBI since Aug. 6, 2019 when he doubled for the first time since Sept. 17, 2016.
DeSclafani's fourth-inning, two-strike double tied it up during a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, allowing the right-hander to make up for an early mistake on the mound and sparking the Giants in the first of a four-game series between first-place teams.
"He was pretty fired up about that double," manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in a video conference after the win. "I guess he prides himself on swinging the bat well. It's interesting, I never expect a pitcher to get a hit. ... [An] at-bat where a guy grinds a little bit, sees some pitches, fouls off a few or gets a bunt down, I'm always impressed.
"But I never expect a guy to hit an opposite-field double."
The 31-year-old helped his cause at the plate, but he really made it on the mound.
DeSclafani allowed two earned runs in six innings, striking out four. He didn't give out any free bases, and he threw 54 of his 81 pitches for strikes.
The NL Central-leading Cubs briefly took the lead when Joc Pederson hit a two-run home run in the top of the third, but DeSclafani cruised from then on. Sergio Alcantara was the Cubs' next baserunner when he singled in top of the fifth, and DeSclafani got Eric Sogard to ground out on the very next pitch.
DeSclafani saved his best for last in the sixth inning, striking out the top of the Cubs' order -- Pederson, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez -- on 20 pitches. Ten of those were in a lengthy duel with Pederson, who was 5-for-11 with three home runs against DeSclafani entering Thursday.
In 12 starts this season, DeSclafani boasts a 5-2 record, 3.51 ERA and career-low 1.11 WHIP.
After DeSclafani shut the door following a brief bump in the third, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went to work. Crawford crushed his 12th homer of the season, a three-run shot to right center in the bottom of the fifth inning. He was 2-for-3 on the night with four RBI, drawing a walk in the bottom of the seventh for good measure.
Crawford continued an impressive season at the plate, but DeSclafani beat him to the punch with extra bases and free bases Thursday.
DeSclafani stayed in for one more at-bat in the bottom of the sixth, drawing a five-pitch walk from reliever Rex Brothers. Prior to Thursday, Brothers had only walked 10 batters in 17 1/3 innings.
But DeSclafani had already drawn a walk this season. His double, on the other hand, ended a drought that didn't feel nearly as long as it was.
"Oh-for-40? Is that what it was? I wasn't trying to count!" he said when the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser informed him of his slump at the plate.
"I'm glad I finally got a hit, and -- more importantly -- glad it was more of a timely hit at the time of the game. I feel like I've been having some decent at-bats, and I try to act like I know what I'm doing in the box and all that stuff."
In his next start, DeSclafani can potentially end another long drought. He hasn't recorded a hit in consecutive games since July 21, 2019.