The Giants scored all four of their runs before recording a single out.
Walks from LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski to lead off the game preceded an RBI double from J.D. Davis and a three-run home run from Michael Conforto.
Twins starter Bailey Ober, who hadn’t allowed four runs in any of his 2023 starts prior to Monday, threw 30 pitches before recording the first out.
Conforto hit his ninth home run of the season in that first-inning barrage and sterling work from the Giants’ bullpen — particularly Sean Manaea in a bulk role — made the lead stick. Minnesota matched its season-high with 16 strikeouts in a 4-1 win for the Giants (23-24) — their sixth victory in the past seven games.
The win came in San Francisco’s first meeting since the organization nearly signed Carlos Correa this past winter.
Correa agreed to a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants, which fell through due to a failed physical exam. He told reporters in Minnesota that he “couldn’t believe” how things went down.
The two-time All-Star shortstop pivoted to the New York Mets, but failed another physical there. After two nixed deals, he returned to Minnesota on a six-year contract.
Since the tumultuous offseason, Correa is on pace for career-lows in most major statistical categories.
In just 12 MLB games, Giants rookie Casey Schmitt — whom Correa may have blocked — has registered more WAR than Correa. J.D. Davis, whose role with SF would’ve been even murkier had Correa’s deal gone through, has more home runs than the shortstop. Brandon Crawford, who has been an offensive liability himself in 2023, has more stolen bases (three to zero).
Instead of signing Correa, the Giants spread the money they would’ve committed to the shortstop out to multiple players on short-term deals.
Conforto, who signed a two-year, $36 million deal, is on pace for over 30 home runs after a lightning hot past two weeks. Manaea, on a short deal, has largely struggled but struck out eight in 3.2 scoreless innings against the Twins.
Manaea’s command went in and out, but he benefited from an expanded strike zone and a fastball that played at the top rail. The last batter he faced was Correa, who doubled but was left on second with one pitch from Tristan Beck.
Correa went 2-for-4 with a double and a fielding error. The performance improved his average to .213.
The Giants recorded just three hits after the first inning, but those four quick runs held. Beck allowed a home run to Kyle Garlick in the eighth, but struck out four in 2.2 innings of relief.
Beck, Manaea, opener John Brebbia, Tyler Rogers and Scott Alexander combined to record 16 strikeouts. The Giants never added onto their lead after the first inning, but it didn’t matter as SF’s bullpen that started the season miserably has rounded into shape over the past two weeks.