Giants still looking to move up against Mets

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants hope to continue an increasingly improbable run to a playoff berth in the National League when they host the New York Mets on Saturday afternoon on the second day of a three-game series.

On the same day that they appeared to raise the white flag when they dealt Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees for two prospects, the Giants (68-68) used Aramis Garcia’s first major-league home run and Chris Shaw’s first major-league RBI to help beat the Mets 7-0 on Friday night and inch within 6 1/2 games of first-place Arizona (74-61) in the NL West.

The win was the Giants’ fifth on a homestand that also has seen them lose Buster Posey and Steven Duggar to season-ending injuries.

The Giants, who remained eight games back in the race for the second NL wild-card berth, haven’t given up hope, as was evidenced by the sight of Posey and Pablo Sandoval, also out for the season following hamstring surgery, rooting on the club on Friday.

“He’s doing fine,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey, who underwent hip surgery Monday. “He’ll be rehabbing for a while. I know he’s glad to get this part of it over, especially that first day or two, when you’re in a lot of pain.”

Shaw, promoted earlier in the day to fill McCutchen’s vacated roster spot, eased a lot of the pain when he produced the Giants’ first run in the seventh inning Friday.

Then Garcia, a catcher who had watched Nick Hundley do all the catching in the Arizona series that ended Wednesday, came through with a memorable first major-league hit — a homer off Mets reliever Robert Gsellman that triggered a six-run eighth inning.

The Giants are hoping for more of the same Saturday with left-hander Derek Holland (7-8, 3.65 ERA) on the mound.

The veteran is unbeaten in his last seven starts, including a five-inning outing on Aug. 20 in New York in which he limited the Mets to one run and four hits in a 2-1 win.

Holland did not get a decision in the victory, and has never beaten the Mets in his career, going 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts.

He is scheduled to be opposed by fellow left-hander Steven Matz (5-11, 4.36), who is winless in his last four starts, having allowed 14 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings.

Like Holland, Matz didn’t get credit for a win when he pitched the Mets to a 6-3 home victory over the Giants on Aug. 21. He gave up just two runs and two hits in five innings.

Matz is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.

After the Giants roughed up the New York bullpen for six runs in the eighth inning Friday, the Mets called for reinforcements that are expected to join the team in time for Saturday’s game.

Highly regarded reliever Eric Hanhold and minor-league mate Tim Peterson were reported to be headed west Friday night and should be ready to go when major-league rosters expand to 40 on Saturday.

Hanhold, a hard-throwing right-hander, was acquired from Milwaukee as a player to be named later after the Mets dealt Neil Walker to the Brewers last September.