Giants pitchers scatter 8 hits, beat Rockies for sweep

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN FRANCISCO — Anthony DeSclafani and three relievers combined to scatter eight hits and the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 4-0 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

DeSclafani (1-0) struck out eight and gave up six hits in six innings. The right-hander pitched with runners on base nearly every inning but repeatedly worked his way out of trouble and lowered his ERA to 0.82.

“I felt good with everything, for the most part,” DeSclafani said. “I was trying to mix it up as much as I can. It was a lot of fun. Just trying to stick to my game plan, knowing they were aggressive early in counts.”

Brandon Belt homered for the first time this season and Alex Dickerson also connected for the Giants. Evan Longoria had two hits and two RBIs.

Trevor Story and Raimel Tapia had two hits apiece for Colorado.

The sweep was the Giants’ first of the Rockies since 2017. San Francisco has won four straight overall.

DeSclafani struck out Sam Hilliard and Dom Nunez to strand a runner at third to end the fourth, then fanned Josh Fuentes and Hilliard with runners at second and third in the sixth.

“It looked like he was reaching back to kind of empty the tank,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He was really dominant throughout periods. Just encouraging from start to finish.”

San Francisco starters have gone at least five innings and allowed three runs or fewer in all nine games this season. It’s the Giants’ third-longest such streak to begin a season in the modern era.

“They’ve been outstanding,” Belt said. “We know from back in the day when we were winning championships that pitching and defense wins you a lot of baseball games.”

Reliever Tyler Rogers pitched out of a jam in the seventh after walking Trevor Story with two outs to load the bases. Rogers then got cleanup hitter Charlie Blackmon to hit a comebacker.

Colorado scored four runs total in the three losses to San Francisco.

“That’s been sort of the case in this series,” manager Bud Black said. “All the games were tight low scoring and we just couldn’t get the big hit to break through and get some momentum.”

Jose Alvarez retired two batters and Rogers set down four. Wandy Peralta walked two with two outs in the ninth before Story grounded out to complete the Giants’ first shutout this season.

Belt homered off Colorado starter German Marquez in the sixth. Belt also walked, stole second and scored on Longoria’s two-out hit in the first.

Dickerson’s home run also came in the first and cleared the fence in Triples Alley.

Marquez (0-1) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Rockies ace struck out seven and walked three.

GIANTS, YANKEES DEAL

Before the game San Francisco acquired INF Thairo Estrada from the New York Yankees for cash. Estrada was optioned to the Giants’ alternate training site.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: IF/OF Chris Owings underwent X-rays on his left thumb that were negative. Owings, who was placed on the injured list on Saturday, will have an additional MRI test when the team returns to Denver on April 15. Black is pleased by the status of LHP Kyle Freeland (strained shoulder), who has progressed to playing catch after being out since spring training. “He’s great for our club, just his presence around,” Black said. “We’re all encouraged by the progress that he’s made over the last couple of weeks. Now to the point where he’s got a ball in his hand and he’s playing catch. It’s good to have him here.”

Giants: Buster Posey was given the day off to rest. RHP Reyes Moronta (right flexor strain) was placed on the 10-day Injured List. OF Jaylin Davis was recalled and placed on the 60-day IL with left knee patella tendinitis. OF LaMonte Wade was recalled from the alternate training site.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 5.56 ERA) faces the Dodgers for the second time this season in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Senzatela was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings by the Dodgers on April 2.

Giants: RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 1.80) pitches against Cincinnati on Monday. Sanchez has never faced the Reds in his career.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.