AT&T Park — As Cody Bellinger’s tailing line drive went flying into Justin Ruggiano’s glove, Ty Blach looked out over his shoulder into left field, pumped his fist and darted into the dugout for the seventh and final time.
Throwing a season high 109 pitches, Blach limited the Los Angeles Dodgers to one run on five hits in seven innings, as the Giants pushed their win streak to five games on Tuesday night.
“He’s got just a great way about him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He has a great poise [and] focus out there. He’s one of those guys that’s unflappable. He just keeps coming at you and that’s what you love about a kid that’s young and he’s still in his first full year of pitching [in the major leagues].”
Blach’s seven innings of one-run ball continued his trend of baffling the Dodgers. In four career outings — three starts and one relief appearance — against the southern rivals, Blach has held the Los Angeles to three runs in 23 innings.
Asked about his burgeoning supremacy, Blach declined to divulge any secrets.
“It’s just executing pitches,” Blach said. “There’s certain teams where certain styles work better and [it’s] just being able to execute pitches. Buster [Posey] does a great job behind the plate against these guys. He knows them so well. So, just being able to know that you’ve got confidence in him — that makes it a lot easier for you.”
Christian Arroyo — making his major league debut at second base — provided his fellow rookie with a pivotal assist after Blach had pitched his way into a one-out jam in the top of the fourth. With runners on second and third, Austin Barnes rolled a slow grounder to Arroyo at the keystone. Even though he wasn’t playing in, the 21-year-old threw a strike to Buster Posey who swiped Justin Turner with a tag as the Dodger attempted to slide around the plate.
“That was awesome,” Blach marveled. “When that ball got past me, my heart sank a little bit. I was like, ‘Shoot.’ You’re always trying to keep that runner at third base and to see him come home and get that [out], that was awesome.”
Half an inning later, Brandon Belt connected on his eighth home run — a solo shot that would have landed in the seats atop the brick arcade in triples alley if not for a fan who dropped the ball back onto the field.
Chris Taylor answered back with a sixth-inning solo shot of his own — off the net hanging above the kale garden in center field — before Brandon Crawford broke the tie with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame.
The club’s fifth consecutive win lifts the Giants record to 17-24 heading into the matinee finale with the Dodgers. Blach credited one of his rotation mates for fostering the positive vibes flowing through the dugout.
“I think we’ve been a little more conscious about having that energy and guys have been really good,” Blach said. “Johnny [Cueto]’s always in the dugout picking guys up. It’s fun to hear him have that energy even on days when he’s not pitching. Having everybody have each other’s backs, I think that’s great for the team.”