Giants observations: Mike Yastrzemski, Curt Casali power 7-6 win over Rockies

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What we learned as Yaz, Casali power Giants' win vs. Rockies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

With Tommy La Stella back from the IL, Gabe Kapler finally got to manage the way he prefers on Monday night.

La Stella was the last of the injured Giants position players to return, and the box score looked a lot more 2021 Giants-ish as a result. A pinch-hitter was used to get a platoon advantage in the fifth inning, and two innings later Kapler went with back-to-back right-handed pinch-hitters against a lefty reliever. Mike Yastrzemski moved around the outfield and Thairo Estrada started the night at second base and finished it in left.

It was the way the Giants handled games just about all of last year, and the end result was familiar, too.

Yastrzemski hit a 420-foot solo shot in the top of the ninth and the Giants won 7-6. The victory was their 11th straight over the Rockies, including four in the last eight days.

The Giants (21-14) took an early three-run lead, gave it up, then took it back in the seventh. A double and single got them going and a walk loaded the bases. Wilmer Flores pinch-hit for Joc Pederson and bounced one to third, but Ryan McMahon booted it and a run scored on the error. Yastrzemski followed with a sacrifice fly that pushed the lead to a pair.

At Coors Field, a two-run lead often disappears in a matter of minutes, and the game was soon tied back up. The Rockies (17-18) got a one-out walk against Tyler Rogers in the seventh and followed that up with a pair of singles that brought two runs across. Two innings later, though, Yastrzemski got the bullpen off the hook.

The Big Curt

The first four runs of the game all came from Curt Casali, who homered in his first two at-bats. Casali hit a 438-foot bomb in the third inning that was his longest of his career. Two innings later, he came up against Ty Blach again and yanked a three-run shot to left to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.

The two-homer game was the third of Casali's career and first since 2015, when he hit four homers in two days for the Tampa Bay Rays. After not homering in his first 14 appearances, Casali has three in his last two starts. On a possibly related note, all three of his homers this season have come since he fully embraced Mustache May and shaved down the surrounding beard.

Coors, Man

Alex Wood cruised into the fifth, allowing just one run and striking out four in his first four frames. But Coors Field comes for all pitchers, and Wood was knocked out in the fifth as the Rockies got within one. Two singles and a double by Charlie Blackmon got the Rockies a run, and C.J. Cron's single off reliever Dominic Leone brought another one across. Leone got out of the jam by inducing a double play, but he came out for the sixth and Ryan McMahon tied it up right away on a solo shot to left.

Wood was charged with three earned in his 4 1/3 innings, but that still slightly improved his career numbers at Coors Field. In 10 previous appearances in Denver, he had a 8.50 ERA.

Short First Night

La Stella returned to the roster on Monday, leading to the difficult move of optioning red-hot outfielder Luis Gonzalez back to Triple-A. La Stella's 2022 debut didn't prove to be a long one, but not because of any lingering issues with his Achilles.

RELATED: Why Giants optioned Gonzalez to minors

La Stella worked a full count in his first at-bat back before grounding out to the mound. His spot next came up in the fifth, and because he was the DH, it was easy for Gabe Kapler to slide Darin Ruf in to face a left-handed pitcher. Ruf singled and scored on Casali's second homer.

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