What we learned as DeJong sparks Giants' win over Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
After several failed attempts with others, the Giants might have finally caught lightning in a bottle with their latest addition.
Paul DeJong picked up three hits in his first game in orange and black, including a homer and a two-run single in the 10th that proved to be the game-winner. After a brutal blown save in the bottom of the ninth, the Giants scored three runs off Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 10th to escape Philadelphia with an 8-6 win.
Kimbrel opened his night with a walk and hit-by-pitch, which loaded the bases for DeJong. He lined a two-strike pitch up the middle to give the Giants a two-run lead. They added another run on a double play thanks to Wade Meckler's hustle.
The Giants had jumped out to a healthy early lead, with Wilmer Flores driving in the first two runs and DeJong crushing a two-run blast in his second at-bat as a Giant. Alex Cobb was sharp early and Alex Wood and Tristan Beck helped get a three-run lead to Camilo Doval.
A night after he threw just one slider in an odd outing that was his third straight blown save, Doval threw his best pitch 13 times in 17 pitches, but he didn't have any command and never quite looked right.
Doval walked Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner to start the inning and the bench called down to the bullpen to have Jakob Junis warm up. Relievers have to face three batters before a decision can be made, and the third guy got to Doval.
He hung a 3-1 slider to Bryce Harper, who hit a laser right down the right field line. The ball left the bat at 113 mph and didn't slow down until it smacked the pole, tying the game.
Junis entered and immediately gave up a hit, but Meckler made a diving grab and Austin Slater slammed into the wall a batter later, keeping the Phillies from winning it in the ninth. That allowed the Giants to win it in the 10th and take the season series with the Phillies, which could be crucial if they end up tied in the postseason race.
DeJong made an immediate impact, jumping on an elevated fastball from Michael Lorenzen in the fourth inning and hitting a moonshot to left to double the lead. The homer was his 14th of the year -- and quickly wiped away any sour memories from his 3-for-44 run in Toronto. It also was a rare moment for the Giants.
Giants shortstops rank last in the big leagues in wRC+ and entered the day with just eight homers. Johan Camargo didn't homer in his eight games with the Giants and Casey Schmitt hasn't gone deep since May 11. Since Schmitt's second big league blast that night, the Giants have just two homers from shortstops -- both by Brandon Crawford.
DeJong became just the sixth Giants shortstop to homer in his team debut, and three of them are currently on the 40-man roster. Crawford and Schmitt also did it.
Cobb entered the day with a 7.24 ERA in seven day games on the road, a number he's well aware of, but hasn't been worried about. Perhaps the rare 4 p.m. start in Philadelphia helped him head in the right direction.
The right-hander didn't allow a baserunner until Bryce Harper's two-out single in the fourth and he was cruising until the sixth, when the Phillies went back-to-back to end his day. Kyle Schwarber got the Phillies on the board with a 114 mph laser into the seats in right and Trea Turner followed with his own solo shot.
Cobb still had a good day, allowing just those two runs and five total hits in five-plus innings. It was the first time since July 15 that Cobb allowed fewer than three runs in a road start.
Flores -- who else? -- did most of the early damage. Starting at first base, he blasted a solo shot in the first to get the Giants on the board. Two innings later, Flores bounced a two-strike pitch into right to get the Giants a second run.
The homer also came with two strikes, continuing a trend for one of the league's hottest hitters. Flores is slugging .444 with two strikes this season, which ranks second in the majors to Mookie Betts, who is at .445.