AT&T PARK — After spending three-and-a-half months on the disabled list, Jarrett Parker continues to waste no time making his mark in his return to the San Francisco Giants.
The left-fielder, who walked the Giants off on Saturday night, crushed a second-inning home run on Sunday afternoon, putting the hosts ahead for good in the 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“He’s come up here and made some noise right away,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
— Karl Buscheck (@KarlBuscheck) August 7, 2017
Bochy credited Parker’s strong start to his extended rehab assignment and the confidence he derived by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in his first game back.
“Really, that’s what the game’s all about,” Bochy explained. “They’re all talented players, but it’s the ones that have the most confidence that usually do the best.”
Parker’s homer — his first of the season — traveled some 422 feet, leaving his bat at an exit velocity of 109 mph.
“Parker just crushed it,” Bochy said. “You don’t see many center fielders that don’t go back to the wall [to] chase the ball. [Gregor] Blanco knew right away it was gone.”
With that blast, Parker is now 6-for-13 with four extra-base hits (three doubles and a homer) in three games since returning from the 60-day DL.
Parker also shut down a potential rally in the fourth, throwing out J.D. Martinez at the plate as the D-back attempted to tag up on a fly ball to left.
A night after connecting on his first AT&T Park home run of 2017, Hunter Pence delivered a classic moment in the third inning. Pence lined a single to left — as he nearly fell over in the box — to bring in a pair of runs.
Pence has now strung together an eight-game hitting streaking, posting a .344 average (11-for-32) during that span.
Samardzija, who had sparked the two-run third with a double, worked 6.1 innings in the matinee. Clearing the 100-pitch plateau for the second time in as many starts and the 14th occasion of the season, the right-hander allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, while punching out three D-backs.
“They made me work, but overall, I felt pretty good,” Samardzija said. “The defense played great behind me and Parker had a great game today.”
The starter recorded the first out of the seventh before giving way to the bullpen in what would be a slow-moving frame.
After facing the first three batters, Cory Gearrin entered and proceeded to hit the only hitter he’d face, Brandon Drury, in the head. Josh Osich then retired his only batter on a run-scoring groundout before Albert Suarez jogged in from the bullpen to end the threat and the inning.
After the four-pitcher carousel in the seventh, Suarez would close out the game, working a scoreless eighth and ninth inning and earning his first save — at any level.
“That was pretty good [feeling],” Suarez said. ”It’s even better when you do it with a strikeout.”
Bochy on Belt’s concussion: ‘It seems milder to him’
Brandon Belt hadn’t showed up at the park by the time Bochy delivered his pregame press conference, but the manager hit a cautiously optimistic note when discussing his concussed first baseman.
“The first day I talked to him, he didn’t feel the symptoms as much as he did [with] the previous ones,” Bochy said. “I guess, what I’m saying [is], it seems milder to him. So, that’s good news, but you don’t know with these concussions. He thought he was over it last time, then it came back. So, it’s going to take some time.”
Melancon could throw in the minor leagues on Tuesday
Mark Melancon (mild right pronator strain) threw a bullpen session on Sunday morning. Bochy said the closer could “possibly or potentially” pitch in another rehab game on Tuesday, but the club wants to see how he responds to his bullpen first.
Gillaspie accepts Triple-A assignment
Designated for assignment on Wednesday, Conor Gillaspie has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
“Conor’s done a lot for us, so it’s nice to have him down there,” Bochy said. “It gives us inventory — not that that’s why we got him, but he’s down there available and he’ll get some playing time and we’ll see where we’re at once he starts playing again.”