The San Francisco Giants were baseball’s best road team in 2021.
They were 53-28 (.654) last year, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers (50-31, .617), and the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays (48-33, .593).
The host Cleveland Guardians are finding that out firsthand in their three-game series with the Giants that concludes Sunday.
San Francisco has used superior pitching and timely hitting to win the first two games of the interleague series, 4-1 and 4-2.
San Francisco’s starting pitchers have gone eight straight games allowing two earned runs or fewer, tying 2002 as the longest such streak to start a season, according to the Giants’ media-relations department.
Left-hander Alex Wood (0-0, 4.15 ERA), who will oppose Guardians right-hander Aaron Civale (0-0, 5.40) Sunday on the mound, is 5 1/3 innings shy of reaching 1,000 in his 10-year career. Wood has pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds.
Civale worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs in his initial start this season, a no-decision on April 11 at Kansas City.
Guardians starter Cal Quantrill, who didn’t factor in the decision on Saturday, pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed two hits, two runs and three walks. He struck out two batters.
“They made him work,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “His pitch count was getting high. I didn’t want to take him out.”
He said the Guardians are keeping a close eye on pitch counts in the early season.
Cleveland pitchers struggled to retire Giants first baseman Brandon Belt on Saturday. He was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and registered his fourth multi-hit effort of the season. He scored the eventual winning run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning. He’s batting .375 on the season.
“All of Brandon’s at-bats are high quality and you can sense confidence in his swings,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said. “Obviously, he’s off to a great start and we’re not in the position we are without him.”
The Guardians’ Owen Miller continued his torrid start at the plate by going 2-for-2, with a double and two walks. He’s now batting .560.
He has recorded an extra base hit in six consecutive games.
“Owen is impacting the ball,” Francona said. “From day one of spring training, man, he’s hitting balls and he’s turning on balls that we didn’t see him do last year.”
The coaching staff kept hearing about Miller at Triple-A ball.
“The hope was when he showed up here (he would do the same type of things),” Francona said.
San Francisco will travel to three other cities on the road trip, starting with the New York Mets Monday. The Giants also visit Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee.
–Field Level Media