Giants break out of offensive funk with 13-8 win over Twins
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants busted out of their offensive slump without a couple of key players.
Buster Posey led the way.
Posey had three hits and four RBIs, Hunter Pence added three doubles and scored three times, and the Giants beat the Minnesota Twins 13-8 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Eduardo Nunez also had three hits and scored three times while rookie Austin Slater had three hits and a career-high four RBIs to help the Giants win for the fourth time in 12 games.
“The way we swung the bats, especially with runners in scoring position … everybody did something,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Any time you sit regulars like that and you get a win and come from behind, that’s nice. Those guys needed at-bats and had big days for us.”
San Francisco had been held to two runs over the first two games of the series before setting season highs for hits (17) and scoring. The Giants also had a San Francisco record-tying eight doubles despite Bochy holding shortstop Brandon Crawford, center fielder Denard Span and second baseman Joe Panik out of the starting lineup.
Posey, who entered the day with the fourth-best batting average in the majors, had an RBI groundout in the first, a run-scoring single in the fifth and a key two-run double in the seventh.
Kelby Tomlinson singled and scored twice in a rare appearance batting leadoff for San Francisco. Slater, who made his major league debut on June 2, had a bases-loaded triple in the ninth.
“Today was a good game offensively,” said Posey, who raised his average to .347. “Hopefully we’re going in the right direction. When we were able to get the lead, it seemed like guys were taking good, aggressive swings after that.”
Pence bounced back after striking out three times Saturday and again in his first at-bat Sunday. He had an RBI double in the seventh and in the ninth. The veteran right fielder had been 7 for 51 before breaking out against the Twins.
Josh Osich (1-1) retired three batters for the win.
Eduardo Escobar and Byron Buxton homered for Minnesota. Matt Belisle (0-1) got two outs and was charged with four runs and four hits.
“We had a lead late,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Unfortunately a walk in the seventh turned into a disastrous seventh and we couldn’t control them after that.”
Reliever Sam Dyson didn’t have the best of luck during his Giants debut. The former Texas closer failed to retire a batter in the ninth and was charged with three runs, two earned. Posey committed an error in the inning.
“He got a couple groundballs we couldn’t handle,” Bochy said. “He just had some bad luck unfortunately for him. He’ll be fine. His stuff was really good. He just hadn’t pitched in a while and I expected some rust.”
San Francisco’s offensive outburst spoiled the major league debut of Twins left-hander Nik Turley. The 27-year-old Turley, who spent 10 years in the minors, gave up four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.
“I honestly can’t remember what it felt like at the start,” Turley said. “A lot of nerves. Sometimes it was hard for me to control what I wanted to do with my body.”
Giants: Madison Bumgarner threw 30 pitches off a mound before the game and looked good, according to Bochy, who said that the left-hander could face hitters next weekend when the team plays in Colorado. It was Bumgarner’s second time throwing off a mound since suffering a separated left shoulder and bruised ribs in dirt bike accident on April 20.
Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.18 ERA) pitches the opener of a four-game series against Seattle in Minnesota on Monday.
Giants: LHP Ty Blach (4-3, 3.64 ERA) makes his 10th start since replacing Bumgarner in the rotation when San Francisco opens a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.