MLB: Stingy Giants aim to shut down Royals
The San Francisco Giants have allowed just six runs during a four-game winning streak.
The Giants will look to be stingy once again on Tuesday when they host the Kansas City Royals in the middle contest of a three-game set.
San Francisco gave up just four runs during a three-game weekend sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers and again got good pitching during Monday’s 6-2 win over the Royals.
The Giants also have played strong defensively during the four-game stretch, committing just one error. The fielding wasn’t pretty in their last loss as four errors helped the Colorado Rockies post a 4-2 victory on Thursday.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford said good fielding is contagious.
“You see somebody make a great play and you want to go out there and make a great play yourself,” Crawford said after Monday’s triumph. “We really tightened it up against the Dodgers, pitched really well and played defense well and (Monday) night we played some really good defense, too.”
Crawford had a two-run double on a night in which San Francisco had just five hits. But Kansas City pitchers walked nine and hit another to give the Giants ample scoring opportunities.
“That’s too many free bases,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was pleased with his club’s patience.
“When we’re at our best offensively, we’re seeing a lot of pitches,” Kapler said. “I think there were some easier takes for us but I thought we did a nice job of sticking with our game plan and our approach.”
Crawford, who was 1-for-3, was one of two players in the starting lineup who played in the 2014 World Series when the Giants beat Kansas City in seven games. Salvador Perez of the Royals served as the designated hitter and went 1-for-4 on Monday.
The victory was just San Francisco’s fifth in 17 all-time regular-season meetings with the Royals.
On Tuesday, the Giants will look to win a fifth straight game for the fourth time this season. They did it twice in April and again in May when they put together a season-best six-game winning streak.
Kansas City has lost three straight games and is already a whopping 20 games below .500.
After scoring twice in the third inning on Monday, the Royals went down in order in four consecutive innings.
“We went on a lull,” Matheny said. “We went from the third to the eighth before we had a guy on base again.”
The struggles came after Kansas City scored 34 runs over the previous five games. The Royals had at least 10 hits in each of those games.
The Royals’ runs in the opener came on Whit Merrifield’s sacrifice fly and an infield single by Bobby Witt Jr., when the ball caromed off the glove of San Francisco left-hander Alex Wood.
Witt, who turns 22 on Tuesday, leads the Royals with 31 RBIs. The American League Rookie of the Year candidate also tops in runs (34), doubles (14), triples (four) and stolen bases (10).
Giants right-hander Logan Webb (5-2, 3.77 ERA) takes the mound trying to halt a five-game winless stretch.
The 25-year-old notched four straight no-decisions before losing to Colorado in his last turn. Webb allowed three runs (two earned) and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss.
This marks Webb’s first career appearance against Kansas City.
Royals left-hander Kris Bubic (0-3, 9.13) has struggled all season, giving up 30 hits and 16 walks in just 22 2/3 innings over eight appearances (seven starts).
Bubic, 24, gave up four runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles in his last outing.
The Stanford product has never faced the Giants.
–Field Level Media