Dickerson's pinch-hit homer helps keep Giants in playoff mix
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants got some timely swings off the bench to stay right in the playoff race.
Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson connected for a go-ahead homer in the seventh and Austin Slater also went deep, helping the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Dickerson hit his first pinch-hit homer since exactly four years earlier on Sept. 22, 2016, with San Diego against the Giants at Petco Park. It was his 10th homer that season, and his 10th this year.
It has been quite a two weeks for Dickerson, from a false-positive test result for COVID-19 that postponed a pair of games in his hometown of San Diego to just returning from the paternity list after he and wife, Jennifer, welcomed son, Levi.
“I think he's making really good decisions, I think he's seeing the ball really well, I think he has a ton of confidence right now,” manager Gabe Kapler said.
San Francisco is one of four teams chasing the final two NL playoff spots. Philadelphia (27-29) lost its fourth straight game after a doubleheader sweep by Washington, falling behind Cincinnati (28-28), Milwaukee (27-27) and the Giants (27-27).
Kevin Pillar hit a tying double for Colorado in the seventh against his former club. The Rockies had won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
Tyler Rogers (3-3) recorded the final out of the seventh for the win. Sam Coonrod worked the ninth for his third save.
Slater hit his first career career leadoff homer to stake San Francisco to a quick lead, and Joey Bart added an RBI double. Brandon Belt drove in two more runs with a pinch-hit double in the seventh against Jairo Díaz (1-2), who also surrendered Dickerson’s drive.
Charlie Blackmon’s groundout got Colorado on the board in the sixth and chased Drew Smyly.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland remained winless in 10 starts since Aug. 1 following consecutive victories to begin the season.
“The Giants did a good job of laying off pitches, they worked the count, they worked deep counts, they fouled balls off,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Kyle willed his way through that game.”
San Francisco players and staff will move into a hotel Wednesday as the Giants shift to a quarantined setting for the rest of the regular season.
Kapler didn't provide specific details on who all would be there but that it is one location that will include housing of some players from the Sacramento alternate site, such as taxi-squad players who could be needed down the stretch.
Rockies: RHP reliever Carlos Estévez continues to receive treatment since being hit on the pitching hand by an Aug. 16 line drive from Texas' Scott Heineman. In 13 outings since, Estévez has three holds, a blown save, two blown leads and a loss. Black said the pitcher was sore but: “He indicates to us it has no effect on his performance. I don't think he's rattled by that ... we've asked him, ‘Has that had any impact?’ He goes, ‘No, I just haven’t made very many good pitches, I'm not pitching well.' He hasn't used that as a reason for the recent struggles.”
Giants: RF Luis Basabe strained his right hamstring running to first base in the third and exited the game. He will have a scan Wednesday. ... Rookie C Chadwick Tromp went on the injured list because of a strain in his right shoulder after he jammed it during Sunday’s loss to the A's. He had an MRI exam Tuesday. Tromp's status for a potential playoff berth is still unclear. “I would not put anything off the table at this point,” Kapler said. ... OF Mike Yastrzemski did some assisted running on the treadmill for a second straight day among his hitting work in the cage. He is scheduled for agility and outfield work Wednesday and could be available off the bench for the game. “Moving around much better. I'm optimistic about it,” Kapler said of a regular-season return for Yastrzemski, who missed his fifth straight game with a mild right calf strain. ... RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) came out of his three-inning outing Monday at the Sacramento alternate site with no issues.
The Giants recalled catcher Tyler Heineman from Sacramento to take Tromp's roster spot.
Right-hander Ryan Castellani (1-3, 5.59 ERA) pitches Wednesday night for the Rockies looking to end a five-start winless stretch during which he is 0-2 since beating Arizona on Aug. 24.
The Giants hadn't announced a starter for Wednesday.
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