Giants

Giants Observations: Darin Ruf Stars But Comeback Falls Short Vs. Padres

What we learned as Giants' comeback falls short vs. Padres originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- The second matchup of the Rogers Twins didn't end up happening on Friday night, and that was briefly a very good thing for the Giants. 

Major League Baseball saves leader Taylor Rogers was unavailable for the San Diego Padres after a heavy workload in recent days, and the Giants jumped on right-hander Luis Garcia in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs to tie it up. The good vibes ended there, though. 

Manny Machado and Jurickson Profar drove in a pair of runs in the top of the 10th and the Giants came up short in the bottom of the inning, losing 8-7 in their return to Oracle Park. 

The Giants struck first on Curt Casali's sacrifice fly in the second, but the Padres got four on the board in the third inning. Darin Ruf was ready to wipe that deficit away, though, hitting a pair of homers over the next three innings to tie the game. 

It remained that way until the top of the eighth, when the Padres put runners on the corners and Wil Myers launched one of Tyler Rogers' rising sliders the opposite way for a two-run double off the right field wall. Myers, who has always enjoyed hitting at Oracle Park, became just the third player to elevate a ball at least 350 feet against Rogers this season.

The first two Giants went down in the bottom of the ninth, but Mike Yastrzemski reached on an infield single and Garcia walked the bases loaded. Wilmer Flores' broken-bat flare to left was perfectly placed and brought Yastrzemski and Ruf racing home to the tie game, with Ruf just beating the throw. 

Ruf-ed Up

What do Kevin Frandsen, Mark DeRosa, Adam LaRoche and Chase Utley have in common? They were all in the lineup the last time Ruf homered twice in a game, all the way back on Oct. 2, 2012, when his Philadelphia Phillies took on the Washington Nationals at the end of the year. Ruf was a rookie and so was the No. 2 hitter for Washington, a budding star named Bryce Harper. 

Ruf needed just five innings Friday to get his second career multi-homer game. With the Giants trailing by three in the third, he smoked a first-pitch fastball from Sean Manaea into the left field bleachers. The second blast took an identical flight path but came on a changeup. 

Oh, and Ruf also made a sliding grab in left to end the top of the fourth and save a run. 

One Note Wasn't En-Ruf

There were plenty of signs recently that Ruf was ready to leave his, uhh, rough April in the rearview mirror. In 15 May games entering Friday, Ruf had an MLB-leading .482 on-base percentage and was slugging .500. 

That's much more of what the Giants expected when they spent all offseason talking about him as part of the answer in the heart of their lineup. Ruf ended April with a .488 OPS. By the end of the night Friday, he was at .732.

Not Quite The Same

Jakob Junis allowed just four runs in his first 22 2/3 innings as a Giant, but the Padres matched that total in the third inning. 

Jake Cronenworth's two-run homer into the arcade was the big blow, but the Giants also paid for losing track of Manny Machado. He was on first when Eric Hosmer hit a grounder to the left side, and he alertly scampered to third when the bag was vacated on the throw. A wild pitch allowed Machado to race home for the fourth run of the frame. 

Junis ended up going six, allowing just those four runs on seven hits. He struck out a pair. Through three starts and two "bulk innings" relief appearances, the offseason addition has a 2.70 ERA.

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