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Homer-happy Giants put win streak on line vs. Guardians

Sportsnaut
Apr 15, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Joey Bart rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony DeSclafani will try to duplicate the effort of teammate Carlos Rodon when the veteran right-hander and the San Francisco Giants go for two in a row over the host Cleveland Guardians on Saturday night.

Rodon pitched the Giants to a 4-1 win in the opener of a three-game interleague series Friday, handcuffing the hosts on two hits over seven innings as San Francisco earned its third straight victory.

“I feel like our 1 through 5 (starters) are interchangeable,” Giants catcher Joey Bart said. “I wouldn’t consider anyone pitching at the bottom (of the rotation) any worse than someone pitching at the top. All these guys are great.”

Giants hitters weren’t so bad themselves in the franchise’s first visit to Cleveland since 2008, with Bart, Brandon Crawford and Joc Pederson belting home runs.

San Francisco also smacked three homers on Opening Day against the Miami Marlins and again Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. Bart, Brandon Belt and Thairo Estrada went deep vs. the Marlins, while Belt, Pederson and Wilmer Flores overpowered the Padres.

“What’s great about this team,” Bart said, “is if someone doesn’t get it done, then someone else will.”

DeSclafani (0-0, 4.91 ERA) didn’t get any homer support in his season debut last Sunday against the Marlins, and he didn’t pitch his best game. However, he did well enough to leave with a 3-2 lead, one that the Giants bullpen held onto over the final 5 1/3 innings.

The second-year Giant, who has experience against the Guardians through his participation in the Ohio Cup rivalry series with the Cincinnati Reds, has gone 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA in five previous starts against Cleveland. He is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three career starts at Progressive Field.

After seeing a four-game winning streak come to an end, the Guardians will counter with right-hander Cal Quantrill (1-0, 3.60 ERA), who was on the mound for his team’s first win of the year last Sunday at Kansas City.

Getting 10 runs of support in the first two innings, Quantrill coasted through five innings, allowing two runs and four hits.

The Stanford product will be facing the Giants for the third time in his career. He went 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in his first two starts against them while pitching for the Padres in 2019.

Friday’s offensive problems against Rodon included an 0-for-3 effort by rookie hotshot Steven Kwan, a San Francisco Bay Area product who grew up a Giants fan.

Kwan failed in his stated goal of being “the most annoying at-bat in the lineup” in the series opener, fouling out to the catcher, getting hit by a pitch and grounding out to shortstop on a night when he also struck out for just the second time this season.

“I’ve got the best player in baseball behind me in Jose Ramirez,” said Kwan, who bats second. “If I can be on first base, I’m in scoring position. So any way I can be a nuisance, I’m going to do it.”

–Field Level Media