While Luis Gonzalez and Joc Pederson hit home runs, left-hander Carlos Rodon threw eight shutout innings to lead the visiting San Francisco Giants past the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 on Friday. The Giants have now won six of their last seven games as a result of this and the Pirates have dropped 10 of their last 11 games. Check out the best sports betting odds for betting on baseball!
As San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler went to closer Camilo Doval for the final three outs, Rodon gestured and witnessed the flamethrowing 24-year-old seal the win.
Rodon (6-4) struck out eight batters and walked two, while Doval threw a one-two-three ninth inning to secure the shutout and collect his 10th save.
“My younger self would have been, ‘I want to go back out,’” Rodon said, after yielding only two hits to the Pirates. “But (the season) is a marathon. I’m throwing again in five days. I want to be ready for five days from now when I have to face Atlanta.”
Gonzalez hit his third home run of the season on the third pitch of the game from Thompson (3-5). For the Giants, who have won 12 of their last 18, Joc Pederson belted his 14th home run leading off the fourth.
Cam Vieaux, in his major league debut, followed Thompson with one 2/3 shutout innings, one hit, and three strikeouts.
Rodon didn’t allow a hit to the Pirates until rookie Jack Suwinski singled with two outs in the fifth. The Pirates’ third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, on the other hand, contributed another single in the sixth, but Pittsburgh’s offense didn’t accomplish much.
Unfortunately, Thompson battled with his control as he issued five walks yet lost for the first time in a month. As he reached the strike zone, Gonzalez and Pederson capitalized on a couple of errors to send the ball soaring over the Clemente Wall in right field, which stands 21 feet tall.
In the post-game interview, Thompson credited his teammates for displaying their impressive performances while admitting that he “was all over the place.”
“Really relied on my defense today. I’m thankful (Hayes) made that great play at third and (Michael) Chavis with the double play at first,” Thompson added. “They did a really good job behind me. I just gotta kind flush this one and move forward.”
Thompson found himself in a pickle in the second. While Brandon Belt doubled off the center-field wall, Thairo Estrada walked and Tommy La Stella singled to right, loading the bases with no outs. Thompson fought out of it by striking out Brandon Crawford and inducing a double play by Austin Wynns.
Pederson led off the fourth inning with his 14th homer to right field, boosting the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
Daniel Vogelbach, who walked to lead off the second, was Pittsburgh’s sole runner entering the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in the fifth, Jack Suwinski smacked a base single to center, putting an end to any hopes of a no-hitter. Yu Chang followed with a walk, the Pirates’ primary runner reaching second base, but Rodon struck out Cal Mitchell.
Vieaux may have maintained the Giants in check after taking over for Thompson, but Rodon was already on standby.
Rodon just needed 98 pitches to get 24 outs. He sought the same number to go through four innings against Philadelphia on June 7 and six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
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