The San Francisco Giants are coming through with the late-game magic at the plate that long defined their Bay Area rival in Oakland.
Pinch-hitter Donovan Solano delivered a go-ahead two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from A.J. Puk with two outs in the eighth inning, and the majors-best Giants rallied past the Athletics for a second straight day, winning 2-1 on Sunday.
“The power stroke hasn't shown up quite as much this year but we know it's still in there, so certainly doesn’t surprise any of us in the dugout that Donovan was able to jump on that pitch,” manager Gabe Kapler said.
Puk (0-1) couldn't hold the lead after relieving Frankie Montas, who struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in a brilliant duel with Logan Webb. Solano connected moments after Austin Slater drew a pinch-hit walk.
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“It’s kind of weird to say but you kind of knew it was going to happen,” Webb said of Solano's timely swing.
The defending AL West champion A's became known for dramatic, late-inning rallies while making the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. The Giants haven't reached the postseason since 2016.
Dominic Leone (3-2) struck out two in a perfect seventh. Starling Marte's two-out double in the eighth against Tyler Rogers put the tying run on third but Matt Olson grounded out. Jake McGee pitched the ninth for his 28th save after allowing Josh Harrison's one-out double.
“It feels pretty much like a playoff series,” McGee said.
The NL West-leading Giants (80-44) won the season series 4-2 from the playoff-contending A's on a day 30,345 people packed the Coliseum.
On Saturday, LaMonte Wade Jr.'s ninth-inning pinch homer gave San Francisco a 6-5 win. The Giants became the first major league team to have pinch homers in the eighth inning or later to erase a deficit and take the lead in consecutive games, according to Sportradar.
“We are a team where it is a team. We want to win,” Solano said. “I'm thankful for the opportunity.”
Montas came through with a clutch outing after Oakland's starters had gone fewer than six innings in eight of their last nine games. He had allowed two runs in five innings during his only previous appearance against San Francisco on June 26.
“I didn’t want to get booed by the fans,” Montas said of hanging tough with Webb.
Mark Canha put Oakland ahead in the sixth with an RBI single off Webb, who hasn't lost since May 5 at Colorado. He struck out seven and walked one over six innings and gave up one run on five hits. The right-hander has surrendered two or fewer earned runs in 12 straight starts.
After his go-ahead hit, Canha wound up out going to third once the umpires huddled to determine he was hit by a batted ball on Marte's single. Marte stole two bases, giving him a majors-leading 39 — going 17 for 17 since joining the A's before the trade deadline.
“We expect to win those games,” Canha said.
Giants: 3B Evan Longoria was placed on the injured list after he received a COVID-19 vaccine booster. ... RHP Reyes Moronta, who has made only four appearances this season because of an elbow flexor strain, returned from his rehabilitation assignment and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. ... RHP Anthony DeSclafani went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Thursday with inflammation in his right ankle.
Athletics: RF Stephen Piscotty could soon be headed for surgery on his troublesome left wrist after two previous cortisone injections this year. On Friday night, Piscotty's discomfort returned and was placed on the IL on Saturday. He is scheduled to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Mark Leber in Arizona sometime this week. ... RHP Chris Bassitt, struck by a line drive in the face Tuesday night at Chicago, is set to be examined Monday by plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Revenaugh and have a repeat CT scan with surgery planned for Tuesday to repair a cheekbone that was fractured in three places. His right eye had been swollen shut but is now open. He will likely remain in Chicago for two to three days after the procedure, according to athletic trainer Nick Paparesta. ... C Sean Murphy was held out of the lineup with a tender wrist that he felt during his first at-bat Saturday, but entered for defense in the ninth. Manager Bob Melvin had planned to start Murphy on Sunday but instead went with Yan Gomes.
The Giants recalled LHP Sammy Long and RHP Jay Jackson from Triple-A Sacramento.
The Giants have an off day in New York on Monday before facing the Mets on Tuesday night, with San Francisco's starter still unannounced but expected to be Long.
RHP Paul Blackburn (0-1, 5.06 ERA), called up after Bassitt's injury, takes the mound Monday for the A's in the opener of a two-game series with the Mariners.
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