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Jun 8, 2024 2:56 am

Giants hope power surge continues vs. Rangers

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The San Francisco Giants are in a three-way tie for eighth place in the National League for home runs heading into Saturday afternoon’s game with the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. But Giants manager Bob Melvin believes his team can hit the long ball more consistently.

The Giants have had back-to-back three-homer games to give them 62 this season. The latest came in Friday night’s series-opening 5-2 victory over the Rangers.

Wilmer Flores hit a pair of solo homers to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead. Michael Conforto hit a 404-foot two-run, go-ahead shot over the bullpen in right-center in the seventh inning for what proved to be the game-winner.

“It was big for us,” Melvin said after his team’s second straight win. “We really have a lot of guys with the ability to hit home runs. We’ve gone through stretches where we haven’t, and we’ve probably played our best baseball when we have hit some home runs. It makes a big difference when you can put a couple runs on the board in a close game like that.”

Melvin didn’t name a starter for Saturday’s contest, which is expected to be a bullpen game for the Giants. Texas will start left-hander Andrew Heaney (2-6, 3.99 ERA), who is 1-3 with a 6.03 ERA in seven career starts against San Francisco.

Heaney is coming off his best start of the season last Saturday at Miami. He scattered four hits over six innings in a 6-0 victory over the Marlins, striking out seven and not walking a batter.

“Today was honestly one of the first games that I’ve kind of felt like it was enjoyable,” Heaney said. “I don’t know how to describe it. It just felt like I was pitching today and that was nice.”

Heaney had thrown 2 1/3 shutout innings in relief in his previous appearance against Arizona on May 28 en route to picking up his first win of the season.

Flores, who led the Giants with 23 homers last season, hit a grand slam to highlight Wednesday’s 9-3 win at Arizona and then followed it up with the ninth multi-homer game of his career in Friday’s victory.

“Conforto’s homer was huge, and Wilmer kind of got us there with (his two),” Melvin said Friday. “A big part of the win tonight.”

Logan Webb evened his record at 5-5, allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings while striking out six.

“To start the game I thought that was probably the best stuff I’ve had all year,” Webb said.

The up-and-down Rangers finished with just five hits in the loss to fall to 4-26 in games when scoring three runs or fewer. By comparison, Texas is 26-7 in games when it scores four runs or more.

The Rangers are expected to be without All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who tweaked his left hamstring running to first base on a single during a 9-1 victory over Detroit on Wednesday, for the entire series.

“It looks like it’s going to be a couple days, three days,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said of Seager’s possible return. “We feel pretty good that he won’t have to go on the (injured list) but there has to be some concern. He did come out and jog a little bit and made some improvement since a couple days ago. We’ll keep checking on him every day, but my hope is that by the time we hit the road (for Tuesday’s game at the Los Angeles Dodgers), he’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

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