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Two days after giving up the top spot in the NL West, the Giants took it back with a wild extra-inning win over the Dodgers on Friday. San Francisco had just come off a four-game losing streak in which they scored just five runs. Momentum was slipping fast. After coming out with a win against the Brewers on Thursday, the Giants entered the weekend series tied with the Dodgers atop the standings.
Anthony DeSclafani took the mound against a team he had struggled against all season. He had given up 22 runs over 21 innings across five starts against Los Angeles going into Friday's contest. The 31-year-old right-hander clearly put those struggles in the rearview mirror as he held the Dodgers scoreless over six innings. He scattered two hits and three walks while striking out five batters. On the other side, David Price was scheduled to start but was scratched with an arm issue. Corey Knebel operated as the opener and tossed two scoreless innings.
The Giants scored their first run in the third inning in a curious fashion. Phil Bickford issued a pair of walks and allowed a single to load the bases. He struck out Kris Bryant before he was relieved by left-hander Alex Vesia, who entered to face LaMonte Wade. That's when Gabe Kapler decided to pinch-hit Austin Slater in place of Wade, who came into the contest hitting .143 against southpaws. Slater came through with an RBI single to put the Giants on the board.
With the game still at 1-0 going into the ninth inning, Jake McGee was called on to close it out against his former team. A single and a double put two runners in scoring position before Chris Taylor tied the game with a base hit that found grass in shallow center field. McGee would limit the damage to just one run. Albert Pujols had pinch-hit for Cody Bellinger against the left-hander, a move that would have implications later on. Kenley Jansen worked around a pair of walks in the bottom of the frame to send it into extras.
Pujols started the tenth at second base and moved to third on a fly-out to center field by AJ Pollock. That's when manager Dave Roberts decided to put Walker Buehler in to pinch-run for Pujols at third base. Buehler scored on a sacrifice fly, but the move forced Will Smith to first base in the bottom of the inning, a position he had never played in the majors.
Brandon Crawford led off the bottom of the tenth with a game-tying base hit before the Dodgers got the next three outs, sending the game to the 11th. Jarlin Garcia took the mound for the Giants and gave up a single to Corey Seager to put runners on the corners. Will Smith then hit a ground ball to Crawford, who threw a strike to Buster Posey just in time to get Justin Turner out at the plate. Garcia buckled down and struck out the final two batters.
A pair of walks would load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the frame with Posey at the plate. Posey hit a ground ball to second baseman Trea Turner, who made a wide throw to first that forced Will Smith to take his foot off the bag momentarily. That moment was all the speedster Posey needed to cross first base safely and allow the walk-off run to score. The Dodgers will look to get back a share of the division lead on Saturday. Julio Urias will take the mound for Los Angeles while the Giants likely go with a bullpen game. Regardless of the series outcome, the race for the NL West will be an exciting one that could come down to the wire.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Shohei Ohtani vs. Rangers
7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K
The only two runs Ohtani allowed over seven innings against the Rangers came on a two-run homer by Jason Martin in the second inning. The 27-year-old right-hander was otherwise excellent, throwing 85-of-117 pitches for strikes while generating 12 whiffs to strike out eight batters. Ohtani induced soft contact to limit the Rangers with eight groundouts to just two fly-outs. He now has a 2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 135 strikeouts over 112 innings.
Rich Hill vs. Nationals
6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Hill kept the Nats off the board over six frames, scatting three hits and two walks while striking out four batters. The closest the Nationals came to scoring on Hill came in the fifth inning after a walk and double put two runners in scoring position with two outs. The 41-year-old left-hander will take a 3.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts over 133 innings into his next start against the Marlins in Miami next week.
Hitters with an EDGE
Jonathan Schoop vs. Reds
4-for-6, HR, 3 R, 1 RBI
Jeimer Candelario vs. Reds
4-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI
Schoop and Candelario combined for eight hits, two homers, two doubles, and seven runs scored in the Tigers' 15-5 blowout win over the Reds on Friday. Candelario reached on an error in the second inning and scored on a double by Harold Castro. Schoop added the next run with a solo homer in the third before Candelario went deep to lead off the fourth. The two combined to score seven of the 15 runs for Detroit. The four-hit day leaves Schoop with a .284/.323/.443 triple slash with 19 homers and 72 RBI across 522 at-bats. Meanwhile, Candelario has posted a line of .279/.355/.445 with 12 homers and 53 RBI over 476 at-bats.
Austin Hays, OF - Baltimore Orioles (available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Hays has been swinging the bat well at the plate over the last two weeks, hitting .307 with three doubles, one triple, and a home run over his last 13 games. Last Friday, I recommended Anthony Santander with the Orioles playing plenty of games in Camden Yards over the final month. We're going back there today. Hays is another Orioles hitting much better at home with a .271/.330/.488 triple-slash in Baltimore. The Orioles are set to play 18-of-24 games at home following the weekend series in New York.
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Carlos Estevez vs. Braves
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (4th save)
Estevez took the mound in the ninth with a one-run lead to close out the game against the Braves. He recorded all three outs on just four pitches to secure the win for Colorado. It was the fourth save of the season for the 28-year-old right-hander, who appears to have taken over as the primary closer for the Rockies.
Andrew Kittredge vs. Twins
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (6th save)
With the Rays up by two runs heading into the ninth, Kittredge was summoned for the final three outs against the Twins. He worked around an error and struck out two batters to pick up his sixth save of the season. The 31-year-old right-hander has been the best arm in the Tampa Bay bullpen all season with a 1.29 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 71 strikeouts over 63 innings.
Garrett Whitlock vs. Cleveland
1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (2nd save)
Whitlock got the Red Sox out of a jam by recording the final out in the eighth before taking a four-run lead into the ninth. Three singles with one out would bring a run across for Cleveland before Whitlock settled down to strike out the final two batters to end the game. The 25-year-old right-hander has been excellent on the year, posting a 1.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 74 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings.
Rowan Wick vs. Pirates
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (2nd save)
Wick entered the ninth inning to close out the game against the Pirates with a one-run lead. He made easy work of the Pittsburgh hitters, striking out the side on 11 pitches to secure the win for Chicago.
Ryan Pressly vs. Padres
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K (23rd save)
Pressly worked around a walk to Fernando Tatis, getting Manny Machado to ground into a double play to end the game. The 32-year-old right-hander has a 1.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 68 strikeouts over 55 innings while going 23-for-25 in save chances.
Raisel Iglesias vs. Rangers
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (30th save)
Iglesias worked around a leadoff single by Nick Solak, striking out Yonny Hernandez for the third out to end the game and secure the win for the Angels on Friday. It was the 30th save of the season for the 31-year-old right-hander.
Matchup of the Day
Valdez and the Astros play the second game of a three-game set against Musgrove and the Padres on Saturday. Houston looks to hold their lead over the A's in the AL West while the Padres find themselves in a battle for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. Valdez is coming off back-to-back seven-inning efforts, giving up just two runs over the 14 innings. He's posted a strong 2.91 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 99 strikeouts over 105 innings after starting the season late due to a broken finger suffered in Spring Training. Musgrove has been on a roll himself, tossing a complete-game shutout against the Angels in his last start. He brings a 2.85 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 169 strikeouts over 148 1/3 innings.
American League Quick Hits: Gleyber Torres was activated from the 10-day injured list... The A's placed Frankie Montas on the restricted list due to a visa issue keeping him from making the trip to Canada... The Yankees optioned Estevan Florial to Triple-A... Ji-Man Choi will begin a rehab assignment with the Rays' Florida Complex League... Ross Stripling tossed live batting practice on Friday... Kyle Lewis suffered a setback in his knee recovery... The White Sox signed Ruben Tejada to a minor league contract... The Blue Jays claimed Jake Lamb off waivers from the White Sox... Connor Overton was designated for assignment... The Astros purchased the contract of Jose Siri and optioned Robel Garcia... Chas McCormick was activated from the 10-day injures list... The Red Sox placed Jarren Duran on the COVID-19 injured list and recalled Connor Wong... The Angels released Jose Iglesias and recalled Jason Junk...
National League Quick Hits: Ozzie Albies returned to the Braves lineup on Friday... Clayton Kershaw threw two innings in a simulated game on Friday... The Brewers activated Freddy Peralta and Eduardo Escobar from the 10-day injured list... Jesse Winker could be ready to begin a rehab assignment next weekend... Trevor Bauer's administrative leave has been extended through September 10... Avisail Garcia was held out of the Milwaukee lineup due to tightness in his back and hamstring... The Mets placed Dominic Smith on the bereavement list... The Giants activated Evan Longoria from the 10-day injured list and optioned Mauricio Dubon... Kolten Wong was placed on the paternity leave list... Didi Gregorius was activated from the restricted list... BrIan Anderson was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder subluxation... The Cardinals placed Junior Fernandez on the 10-day injured list and recalled Jake Woodford... The Nationals activated Kyle Finnegan from the paternity list... The Rockies optioned Justin Lawrence to Triple-A and recalled Ashton Goudeau... Alec Bettinger was optioned to Triple-A by the Brewers...