If the San Francisco Giants had more games like this, Bruce Bochy would have far more reason to smile during his final season as a big league manager.
Backed by timely hitting and an error-free defense, San Francisco starter Shaun Anderson stuck around for seven innings and earned his first big league win , an 8-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Brandon Belt drove in four runs and Buster Posey homered for the Giants, who built a 7-1 lead in the fifth and cruised to only their second win in 10 games. The Giants came in ranked last in the NL with a .221 batting average and had scored as many as seven runs only once in their previous 19 games.
“We moved guys over. We hit guys in,” Bochy said. “We played the game well today. It was a nice crisp game for us.”
Bochy said in February that this would be his last season, and to this point it’s hardly been one to savor. San Francisco is in last place, owns the fourth-worst ERA in the NL and hasn’t had a winning streak of more than three in a row.
The starting pitching has generally been ineffective, but Anderson’s performance provided a ray of hope.
The rookie right-hander allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings in his fourth big league start. Anderson (1-1) ended a run of 40 consecutive starts of fewer than seven innings by Giants pitchers — the team’s longest such streak in the last 100 years.
“He just pitched well. It was good to see that,” Bochy said. “The pen needed a big break today. He allowed us to do that.”
Obtained in a 2017 trade that sent Eduardo Núñez to Boston, the 24-year-old Anderson pitched in seven games at the Triple-A level this year before making his debut with San Francisco on May 15 against Toronto. His previous three starts with the Giants each were five innings.
“Honestly, I felt good,” he said. “I pride myself on going into the seventh inning. This is what I prepared for.”
San Francisco scored all its runs off David Hess (1-7). Since throwing 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball in Toronto on April 1, Hess has gone 0-7 over 10 starts.
“The biggest thing is just not falling behind in the count,” the right-hander said. “When I was ahead in the count it obviously made pitching a lot easier.”
Belt had a two-run single in the first inning and doubled in two runs during a four-run fifth. Posey ended a run of 50 at-bats without a homer by going deep to right in the third.
Renato Núñez hit his 15th home run for Baltimore, the eighth in 12 games.
The Orioles were without manager Brandon Hyde, who was attending his daughter’s graduation in Illinois. Hyde was replaced by Tim Cossins, the team’s field coordinator and catching instructor.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Cossins, whose last managerial gig was in the Florida State League around 2005. “It’s something I’ll look back on forever and appreciate.”
POMERANZ TO BULLPEN
Struggling Giants lefty Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA) will likely miss at least one start after surrendering eight runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Orioles on Friday night. With an off day Monday, Bochy will shuffle his rotation and send Pomeranz to the bullpen. “He could help us Sunday, if we needed it,” Bochy said.
Giants: Posey tweaked his right hamstring and will be rested Sunday. … Pitching coach Curt Young was hospitalized Friday night to have his knee drained of infection. He will remain hospitalized through the weekend. … RHP Trevor Gott (right forearm strain) should be ready to come off the IL on Tuesday, Bochy said.
Orioles: OF-1B Mark Trumbo, who’s recovering from right knee surgery, was 3 for 13 with a double in three rehab games with Double-A Bowie through Friday. He has yet to play consecutive days.
Giants: Jeff Samardzija (2-4, 3.83 ERA) works the finale Sunday after losing his previous three starts. The righty hasn’t faced the Orioles since 2015, when he was with the White Sox.
Orioles: Gabriel Ynoa (0-1, 5.40) makes his second start since being inserted into the rotation for struggling Dan Straily. Ynoa allowed two runs in four innings against Detroit on Monday.
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