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Giants ditch opener, will have Sammy Long start game

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The opener worked once, did not work a second time and will not be seen a third time for Sammy Long.

The young lefty will get the first start of his career Sunday at Oracle Park against the Phillies, Gabe Kapler announced Saturday.

“We feel like Long has really earned the opportunity to start for us and see what he can give us,” the manager said before the Giants hosted the Phillies.

Long was electric following Zack Littell in his June 9 debut, pitching four innings of one-run, one-hit ball while striking out seven. He was excellent in relief of Littell on Tuesday, bailing the opener out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam but only after four already had scored. His outing went downhill from there, though, and he allowed four runs in five innings.

The Giants will remove the training wheels and allow the Del Campo High School alum to take down a lineup that should feature Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen.

Alex Dickerson and Darin Ruf will start rehab assignments at Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, Kapler said. Dickerson is expected to play the outfield and Ruf will DH.

“We’ll see how many at-bats they need to feel good,” Kapler said.

Dickerson could have been activated from the injured list Saturday, but the club is choosing to give him some at-bats first — and give the current outfielders more of a look. When Dickerson (back strain) returns, it may mean Steven Duggar or LaMonte Wade Jr. is sent down, both valuable contributors. The Giants also could option Jason Vosler or Mauricio Dubon and subtract from their infield.

Ruf (hamstring strain) is expected to be a little bit further away than Dickerson, and Austin Slater, who hasn’t been optioned this year, could be in danger when Ruf returns.

Aaron Sanchez is going to pitch on Tuesday with Sacramento and is “feeling better already” after a blister sidetracked his Thursday outing, Kapler said.

The Giants are wearing replica San Francisco Sea Lions jerseys for Juneteenth on Saturday, the 75th anniversary of the West Coast Negro Baseball Association team.

“Those are some of the coolest uniforms that I’ve seen, was really excited about seeing those hanging in my locker today,” Kapler said. “Independent of the jerseys that we’re wearing, I think it’s important to acknowledge today that ending slavery didn’t happen with the signing of a piece of paper, but it took years of effort and work. It’s a reminder that equity and justice is a continual process that requires all of our attention and shining a light, whenever we can, on these issues.”


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