Joel Peralta got one out as the Rays beat the A’s 7-2 on Friday. In this case, that was good enough to get him a save.
Peralta qualified for the save since the tying run was on deck as he entered. Brandon Gomes gave up a leadoff homer to Cliff Pennington in a 7-1 game to start the ninth and then allowed a single, hit a batter and walked another in the process of recording two outs. Peralta entered with the bases loaded and got Kila Ka’aihue, a .229 career hitter, to ground out to first to end the game.
Between Peralta and Fernando Rodney, the Rays have 11 saves this season, but four of them have been of the one- or two-out variety. In just two of the saves has the reliever protected a one-run lead for one or more innings.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.