The Texas Rangers arrived in San Francisco with one of the hottest offenses in baseball, averaging six runs per game in their first nine May contests and leading the Major Leagues with 15 homers in the month.
They left ice-cold after dealing with the likes of Alex Wood and Logan Webb. Webb picked up right where Wood left off, striking out a career-high 10 and allowing just a single earned run over six-plus innings as the Giants finished a quick two-game sweep of the Rangers with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
“The location on the changeups with two strikes was something we tried to preach today,” Webb said. “It definitely worked.”
Webb threw just 13 changeups but got swings and misses on nine of them, with five of those serving as third strikes. After a rocky first inning, in which a wild pitch and passed ball led to Texas (18-20) getting the game’s opening run, Webb settled in and seemed to only improve as the day continued, recording a pair of strikeouts in the third and fanning the side in the fifth. He fanned Nick Solak to end the sixth and returned to the mound with a three-run lead in the seventh after San Francisco (22-14) scored two runs on a key Charlie Culberson error, but was lifted after an opposite-field homer by David Dahl, the lone Rangers longball in the series.
“The work that our starting pitching and our bullpen did was excellent,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “They got big outs when they needed to.”
The Giants failed to hit a homer on the afternoon but managed a pair of walk-fueled two-run rallies. They gathered just four hits on the day but walked six times, including five against Rangers starter Jordan Lyles. Mike Tauchman drew three of those, including the one that sparked the two-run rally in the bottom of the first after Texas had taken the lead.
Lyles had a lead to protect for all of two batters, walking Tauchman to start his day and surrendering an RBI double to Mike Yastrzemski. Brandon Belt lined a one-out hanging curveball into right to put the Giants in front, part of a 34-pitch first inning for Lyles.
“It’s fun for me to sit there and watch these guys compete and grind out at-bats,” Webb said.
With the long first inning and abundance of walks, Lyles lasted just five innings. Josh Sborz pitched the sixth for the Rangers, issuing a leadoff walk to Evan Longoria allowing a two-out Brandon Crawford single. Curt Casali found himself in an 0-2 hole but managed to work the count even before sending a grounder to third. Culberson scooped it up and made a low throw to first that clanked off Nate Lowe’s glove after a short hop in an eerily similar play to one in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, this time allowing two runs to score.
After Webb’s exit, Camilo Doval struck out Culberson and got Jonah Heim to ground out, but walked pinch-hitter Khris Davis. Caleb Baragar came in to create a lefty-on-lefty matchup with Willie Calhoun and induced a first-pitch lineout, then came back to the mound to start the eighth. Lowe dropped a one-out single along the left-field line and reached second when Tauchman bobbled the ball but would be marooned there as Baragar got Joey Gallo to pop out and Zack Littell got Nick Solak to ground out to short. Both Solak and Gallo went hitless for the series.
Jake McGee, pitching on consecutive days for the first time since April 22 and 23, picked up his tenth save by pitching a perfect ninth. He got pinch-hitter Andy Ibanez to ground out on the first pitch, induced a flyout to left from Culberson and struck out pinch-hitter Adolis Garcia, who had homered four times already this month, to end the game.
The Rangers managed just two runs despite having three replay reviews go in their favor, all in the first four innings. Gallo’s force out was initially ruled as a double play, but he was called safe after more than two minutes.
“I like replay,” Kapler commented. “More times than not, they get it right. Those cameras are better than our eyeballs.”
A pair of more obvious missed calls were overturned on stolen base attempts, with Heim gunning down Tauchman to end the second and Dahl stealing second in the fourth. Both calls were incorrectly made by crew chief Tom Hallion, who gained notoriety in 2018 when a recording of his 2016 exchange with then-New York Mets manager Terry Collins was made public.
The win pushed the Giants to 14-4 at home, 11-3 in day games and 7-1 in day games at home. They’ll have Wednesday off before playing 11 straight games, with four-game series in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers for three.