AT&T PARK — After playing 17 innings on Friday night, the San Francisco Giants had no interest in extending their second game of the series against the Cincinnati Reds.
So, Brandon Belt’s first-inning splash hit was a welcome sight.
The much maligned first baseman blasted an early homer to give the Giants a lead they’d never relinquish as they went on to win 3-1, securing their second back-to-back victories of the season.
Belt set the tone early, but it was starting pitcher Matt Moore who ensured the brief winning streak, despite having to work his way out of a few early jams.
Moore threw 120 pitches across 7.1 innings, allowing one run on eight hits and three walks. He struck out seven.
“It was really neat for him to get that deep in the game, he really gave us more than I thought, to be honest.” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters after the game.
Moore was bolstered by another run in the second inning, when Justin Ruggiano lifted a 417-foot homer to the net protecting the garden in center field.
“We’re getting better swings off,” Bochy said, “it’s a lot easier to score when you do add some slugging to your club.”
The San Francisco starter’s major mistake came in the sixth inning when Scott Schebler’s shot carried far beyond Denard Span in center.
The taxed Giants bullpen was able to ensure the win despite throwing several innings the night before. Hunter Strickland entered in the eighth and recorded a pair of outs without allowing further damage.
Then, Derek Law closed the game out by working around a walk in the top of the ninth inning.
The game represented a welcomed departure from the norm as it was the Giants’ opponent who stranded more runners on the basepaths. While the Giants scored just three runs, they stranded only four while the Reds left 11 out to dry.
“The first four innings were as shady as you want to get, leaving that many runners out there,” Moore told reporters.