Suarez outduels Wheeler as Giants defeat punchless Mets 7-0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chris Shaw is still looking for his first big league hit. However, he already has a game-deciding RBI to savor in his 24-hour-old MLB career.
Shaw and fellow Giants debutante Aramis Garcia drove in the game’s first two runs, and rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez outdueled Zack Wheeler as San Francisco beat the New York Mets 7-0 on Friday night.
Shaw, an outfielder called up earlier in the day to replace the traded Andrew McCutchen, lofted a sacrifice fly to center in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie. Shaw had struck out on six pitches in his previous two at-bats.
“I’ll take that stat line any night if it gives us the lead in the seventh,” Shaw said. “To be able at that point in the game to put us up 1-0 was incredible.”
Garcia, a catcher also making his first major league appearance, homered leading off the eighth for the Giants’ second run and then capped the Giants’ six-run inning with an RBI single. Like Shaw, he had struck out in his first two big league at-bats.
Garcia, who watched his family crying on the outfield scoreboard after circling the bases on his homer, said he traded “a couple of bats, some batting gloves and some signed baseballs” to the fan who caught the ball in the left-field stands.
“What I like about what happened is they struck out the first two times up and then they found a way to get it done,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It can be a shot in the arm for you when a couple of young kids come up and contribute.”
After giving up a first-inning double to Jeff McNeil, Suarez (6-9) retired 17 straight batters until hitting McNeil with a pitch leading off the seventh. He then gave up a bloop single to Austin Jackson, but worked out of the jam by getting Jay Bruce to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Suarez allowed two hits in seven innings, striking out five out and walking none, despite dealing with a headache starting in the first inning. Tony Watson worked the eighth and Ty Blach pitched the ninth to complete the three-hitter.
Wheeler (9-7) was almost as good, striking out nine and walking none while allowing four hits and one run over seven innings. It was his first loss since June 22 — he had won seven straight decisions. He allowed five earned runs in six August starts.
“I think it’s just consistency, mechanically and trusting my stuff. My fastball command has been better,” he said. “Everything seems to be working really well right now. I just have trust in my pitches.”
Garcia’s homer came off Robert Gsellman. Brandon Belt added a two-run triple later in the inning off Daniel Zamora, and Austin Slater, Gorkys Hernandez and Garcia followed with RBI singles off Drew Smith.
The debuts of Shaw and Garcia marked the first time two position players had made their first big league appearance in the same game for the Giants since first baseman Will Clark and second baseman Robby Thompson debuted on April 8, 1986, at Houston.
Mets: 3B David Wright, who has not played since May 2016 while having three surgeries for neck, back and shoulder injuries, rejoined the club to continue his rehabilitation. He is still on the disabled list but said he hopes to be activated sometime in September.
Giants: C Buster Posey, who had right hip surgery on Monday, was on crutches when he visited the Giants’ clubhouse before the game. His recovery time is expected to be six to eight months.
Giants executive VP of baseball operations Brian Sabean said after trading McCutchen to the New York Yankees that “we don’t like to surrender,” but acknowledged a 3-1 home loss to the NL West-leading Diamondbacks on Wednesday was a turning point. The Giants began Friday night in fourth place in the division, 7 1/2 games behind Arizona. “Simply put, we were hoping to sweep Arizona and we didn’t, then the odds became taller,” he said. “It was the prudent thing to do. Three teams ahead of us and we’re running out of games.”
Wheeler was the sixth overall selection by the Giants in the 2009 MLB draft, and was traded as a minor leaguer to the Mets in 2011 for outfielder Carlos Beltran. He has now allowed two runs or fewer in his last eight starts, posting a 1.19 ERA during that span.
The Giants said infielder Abiatal Avelino, obtained Friday from the Yankees as part of the trade for McCutchen, was assigned to their Triple-A club in Sacramento and would join the River Cats for a season-ending weekend series at Las Vegas.
The Mets, who were shut out for the 11th time this season, had won their five previous games in San Francisco.
LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.36 ERA), who tied his season high by going seven innings in his previous outing, takes the mound for the Mets in the second game of the series. LHP Derek Holland (7-8, 3.65) starts for the Giants, who have won five of his last six starts, although he’s only gotten credit for victories in two of those games.