SAN FRANCISCO — It took a while, but the Giants are starting to check items off a pretty standard to-do list. On May 14, they clinched their first three-game winning streak of the season. In his eighth start, Jeff Samardzija finally picked up a win.
The Giants took the tension out of this one early, leaping out to a big lead and riding Samardzija into the late innings. The 8-3 victory clinched just the third series win of the year and gave a struggling team four wins in five games.
The Giants scored just 13 first-inning runs in their first 38 games, but they broke through against right-hander Tim Adleman, who dealt with neck discomfort and was removed before the bottom of the second. The four-run frame kicked off with Scott Schebler dropping Denard Span’s fly ball to right-center. Joe Panik doubled Span home and Buster Posey’s single brought Panik racing in. Eduardo Nuñez capped the scoring later in the inning with a two-run single to left.
The Giants tacked on three more in the second, and again Span was right in the middle of it. He scorched a leadoff triple and scored on Panik’s sacrifice fly. Brandon Crawford’s double added the extra point.
Samardzija didn’t need nearly that much help. He took the lead into the seventh, scattering nine hits while striking out eight.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija capped a big series for the starting staff. Ty Blach, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore and Samardzija combined to throw 29 innings with a 2.48 ERA.
Bullpen report: STEVEN OKERT GOT AN AT-BAT. (He was under orders not to swing and he struck out. Still, that was the good stuff.)
At the plate: Span has raised his average 68 points in four games since he came off the DL.
In the field: Panik quietly had one of the best defensive series you’ll see from a second baseman. His running over-the-shoulder catch in the fourth might have been his highlight of the weekend. A former infielder, Nuñez, also had a big day. He snagged Adam Duvall’s liner to left with a diving grab, saving at least a run and ending a promising inning.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 42,122 human beings. Shoutout to the moms.
Up next: Another round with the Dodgers. Matt Cain and Twitter’s Brandon McCarthy get the first game.