The Giants’ Webb was stronger than the Rangers’ webs.
Logan Webb had the best stuff he has had since spring training, the Rangers’ gloves were less impressive and the Giants took advantage in a 4-2 win over Texas in front of 7,268 at Oracle Park on Tuesday, finishing an abbreviated homestand by winning four of the five.
The Giants (22-14) are the best team at home through the first five-plus weeks of the season, improving to 14-4 and moving 2.5 games (before late action) above the Padres, 3.5 over the Dodgers in the NL West.
The confines will get less friendly for the next week but not necessarily mean. They now head to Pittsburgh for four games against the awful Pirates before three against the OK Reds.
It might be time to say the Giants are good.
They did not generate much offense in the two-game set against the Rangers, but swept the series anyway. On Tuesday, it was Webb keeping the rotation flowing in throwing six-plus innings of two-run ball (only one earned), brilliance in the middle and struggles at the beginning and end.
He finished with 10 strikeouts for his first career double-digit K game at 24 years, 174 days old. He is the youngest Giant to do so since Madison Bumgarner on Sept. 19, 2013, when he was 24 years, 49 days old. That guy has had a pretty good career.
After a rough start, Webb allowed one hit from the second inning through sixth. He punched out the side in the fifth, running his streak to five straight strikeouts. Six came on the changeup, four on his slider, but the former was stronger: He induced 13 swings on his changeup, and nine times the Rangers missed. His spot in the rotation continues to be up in the air — he stuck around because of injuries to Johnny Cueto and recently Aaron Sanchez — yet with each outing like this one, he makes a case to keep getting the ball every fifth day.
His last pitch was a seventh-inning home run to David Dahl, and his first 24, which comprised his first inning, were troubling. He threw just 10 strikes in the frame, walked two, had a wild pitch and a passed ball from Curt Casali.
Brandon Crawford appeared to bail Webb out with an inning-ending double play, but the Rangers challenged the call at first and Joey Gallo was found to be safe, a run scoring on the fielder’s choice. (And Nate Lowe was confirmed to be out at second, yet the Rangers were oddly allowed to continue challenging calls.)
Texas challenged three calls successfully in as many innings, making for a frustrated Giants team and more frustrated Oracle Park, which was tired of the inaction.
The Giants took the lead in the bottom of the first, though, thanks to the Mikes — Tauchman walking and Yastrzemski doubling him in — and a Brandon — Belt ripped a single to right to put the Giants up 2-1.
The cushion arrived accidentally in the sixth. With two on and two outs, Casali grounded one to old pal Charlie Culberson at third, who made a costly error for a second straight day. He threw to first to Lowe, who couldn’t pick it, and two runs scored on the play.
The Giants only recorded four hits, but they drew six walks and were far smoother with their gloves than the Rangers. Quietly, San Francisco’s defense has been stellar for most of the season, and its 10 errors in 36 games makes for the fewest in the majors.
Brandon Belt has saved plenty of potential miscues, but there was a Belt concern to begin the eighth. The first baseman was removed from the game, as Wilmer Flores moved over from second and Mauricio Dubon entered to play second. The Giants did not have an immediate update on Belt.
Camilo Doval, Caleb Baragar, Zack Littell and Jake McGee (10th save) combined to throw three scoreless innings, the bullpen having righted itself in recent weeks. It has been the weakness of the Giants this year, but eyes need to squint more and more when finding the Giants’ flaws.