Giants look to keep hits coming vs. Rangers

·3 min read

The San Francisco Giants hope to keep a high-scoring homestand rolling along Saturday night when they seek a second straight win against the Texas Rangers.

San Francisco has split the first four games on the six-day homestand, winning 7-6 and 9-2, while losing 5-3 and 12-7.

The Giants have out-hit their opponents 41-34 in the four games.

Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano and Wilmer Flores have been the driving forces in the offense, which mustered only 10 total runs in four season-opening games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Yastrzemski has hit for the cycle on the homestand, going 8-for-15 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs among his eight hits. He's scored seven times and driven in three runs, and he has a .414 batting average on the young season.

The home run was a walk-off "Splash Hit" into the San Francisco Bay in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 7-6 win over San Diego.

Solano, who came off the bench in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Padres, has driven in seven runs in the past three games. He's gone 8-for-14 on the homestand with three doubles, a home run and three runs scored.

Flores was the star in Friday's series-opening, 9-2 win over the Rangers, belting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fifth inning. He's gone 4-for-13 with a home run, two runs scored and five RBIs in the four games.

The man tasked with slowing down the Giants' assault will be Rangers right-hander Jordan Lyles (0-0, 0.00), who will be making his first start of the season.

The 29-year-old threw two hitless innings of relief Tuesday against Arizona, earning the starting job.

The former member of the Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros has an abundance of experience against the Giants and at Oracle Park. He's gone 4-3 with a 5.20 ERA in 20 lifetime head-to-heads, including eight starts, against the Giants. He's struggled (1-2, 7.71) in seven games (two starts) at Oracle Park.

Lyles was skipped in the rotation the first time through in part because the Rangers had days off Monday and Thursday. But also, he admitted to getting little work done during the break forced by the coronavirus pandemic at his home in Denver.

He boasted, however, that a sharp outing in his final exhibition start demonstrated he was ready to join the starting rotation when the schedule dictated.

"I knew I still had time to get my curveball and off-speed a little better," the veteran told reporters earlier this month about his Summer Camp mindset. "My curveball ... That's my bread and butter. I'm not the same pitcher without my curveball."

Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn't formally announce a Game 2 starter on Friday, but it's likely to be left-hander Drew Smyly (0-0, 2.08).

Smyly would be making his first appearance against the Rangers since they released him last June after he'd gone 1-5 with an 8.42 ERA in 13 games, including nine starts.

"Drew Smyly is [probably] going to start [Saturday], but I'm not going to announce him," Kapler told the media after Friday's win. "I'm just going to say, look, on most nights, when we're not 100 percent sure, we're going to wait to see how a guy wakes up the following day."

The 34-year-old is 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 11 lifetime appearances (six starts) against Texas.

--Field Level Media