SAN FRANCISCO - This had the potential to be a disastrous weekend for the Giants. They flew to Phoenix trailing the first-place Diamondbacks by 5 1/2 games, and a bad series could have led to some "should we sell?" talk as the calendar turns to July.
But the team's youngest position player and youngest starting pitcher pumped the brakes.
Andy Suarez finished a strong month with another big-time performance and Austin Slater drove in a pair of runs with doubles, leading the Giants to a 2-1 win at Chase Field. After a 7-3 homestand, the Giants started a sneaky-big road trip with a big one. Here are the details...
-- With a little luck, and some better defense behind him, Suarez would have had a career night. As it was, he allowed just one run over six innings, working around seven hits. Five of the seven hits were infield singles. In his last four starts, Suarez has a 2.35 ERA.
-- Slater has three extra-base hits in 21 at-bats. He already has as many doubles as Hunter Pence, and he's four away from Austin Jackson, who has 145 at-bats. He added a single in the eighth, getting a three-hit night.
-- The Giants made a couple of poor base running mistakes, one by a player who is generally just about flawless on the bases. With two outs in the fourth, Brandon Crawford ventured too far off second base and was back-picked to end the inning. Earlier, Slater tried to take third on a grounder to short. He was thrown out.
-- With Sam Dyson getting a rest day, Bruce Bochy turned to a pair of lefties late. Tony Watson pitched the eighth and Will Smith ended it with a perfect ninth. He picked up his second career save.
-- The most important action for the Giants might have taken place back in California. Johnny Cueto made his second rehab start and it went well: 4 shutout innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. Cueto is expected to make one more rehab appearance before returning to the rotation.