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Giants roar back to shock Cubs and finally get over .500

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

They win blowouts. They win 16-inning games. They beat bad teams.

And now they have rallied against a very good team.

All of which is adding up to the Giants, indeed, being a good team.

The Giants scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to shock the NL Central-leading Cubs, 5-4, Monday at Oracle Park, going over .500 (51-50) for the first time all season.

All the way from 12-under, they’ve now won 16 of 19 to move two games out of a playoff spot, nine days before the trade deadline. If every victory makes Farhan Zaidi’s decision harder, it’s just about impossible right now.

The rally started with a Pablo Sandoval double off Pedro Strop. After Stephen Vogt struck out, Brandon Crawford’s RBI single cut the lead to 4-3. Austin Slater, who gives right fielders a workout, again went the other way with a game-tying double, and Joe Panik’s ensuing double – his third hit of the day – scored the go-ahead run.

With Will Smith having pitched in three of four games, Sam Dyson got the final three outs in front of a lively crowd of 37,119.

Shaun Anderson was not terrible, but again was not quality. Within a rotation that has stabilized, Anderson has struggled, giving up three runs in five innings. He was not hit often – he surrendered just three hits – but he was hit hard, as two went for long homers.

While the Cubs’ defense saved them, a brilliant dive by Kris Bryant robbing the Giants in the seventh, Stephen Vogt’s cost the Giants.

In the fourth inning, with runners on first and second, Albert Amore Jr. singled to right, and Slater was ready. His throw easily beat Anthony Rizzo to the plate, but Vogt was slow getting the tag down – he shifted his body horizontally before lowering his hands – as the Cubs pulled ahead, 3-0.

Drew Pomeranz was the unsung hero, pitching two scoreless innings in relief of Anderson. He struck out six, and a fastball that as a starter hummed about 92 mph was amped up to 95. He let loose, and the Giants have a new weapon.


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