The Giants found their home away from home.
It’s, well, home.
Wearing their home whites for an official road game that was moved from Seattle because of poor air conditions, the Giants apparently are much bigger fans of the top of the innings than the bottom, scorching the Mariners 9-3 on Wednesday to snap a three-game skid and bring them back to .500.
Both teams walked to the plate with warmup music, though only the Mariners enjoyed a pregame hype video that played on the San Francisco big screen. That would be as much ownage as Seattle would have on the scoreboard, though, playing in front of an allegedly visiting crowd; the Giants’ cutouts traveled well.
The Giants (24-24) had scored two runs in three games against the Padres last weekend, then exploded for eight in four innings against poor Seattle pitching.
Drew Smyly was again excellent, as he has been every time he’s taken the mound this season. Trevor Cahill looked comfortable and effective in a bullpen role that might stick, and Sam Selman followed with his own continued success. Joey Bart threw out another runner at second. The Brandons were at their best, each homering. Every batter in the Giants’ lineup apart from Wilmer Flores had at least one hit, and the club finished with 15. It was a night of positives, apart from a wild Caleb Baragar and one wild pitch from Sam Coonrod.
The largest positive did not last long. Smyly, who threw 59 pitches his last time out — which was his first removed from the injured list — was extended to 78 pitches, which was not efficient enough. He went 3 2/3 innings while striking out eight — he now has 27 in 16 innings on his season — while being charged with three runs, though Baragar (who entered and walked three without recording an out) was the guilty party.
Smyly, in his first start since Aug. 1, had maybe the best curveball he’s displayed. He threw 33 of the breaking pitch and induced 11 whiffs and eight called strikes, as good a putaway pitch as the Giants have apart from Kevin Gausman’s splitter.
His line was inflated by Baragar, who only was allowed to face three hitters because Gabe Kapler couldn’t remove him before he walked all three, which is one more than he had all season.
Cahill entered and put out the fire, though, throwing two solid innings of relief. With Smyly in the rotation and Gausman believed to be ready to pitch this weekend, Cahill would be the odd man out.
The Giants’ offense gave the bullpen plenty of breathing room, though. Brandon Crawford led the charge with three extra-base hits, spraying doubles around the park before hitting his fifth homer of the season. Belt added his eighth of the year and Evan Longoria his sixth, the veterans clearly thrilled to have escaped San Diego pitching.
The Giants’ bullpen would be shutdown, and the only drama late came from Coonrod’s right hand. The fireballer beaned Seattle’s Dylan Moore in the seventh, 98.7-mph heat off Moore’s head that dropped him to the dirt for several scary minutes, the entire Giants defense in a squat. He would rise and actually take first and run the bases but was pulled out of the game later.
The Giants’ charge to the end of the season has begun well, winning their first game of 13 contests in 12 days to finish the season. And they looked at home in doing so.