Dickerson's record start a 'shot in the arm' for SF

June 23rd, 2019

PHOENIX -- From slumping for Triple-A Sacramento to raking in his first two games with the Giants, is suddenly the hottest hitter in San Francisco’s lineup.

After a remarkable Giants debut on Friday that included a grand slam, Dickerson had a great encore, roping a pair of doubles and collecting three RBIs in a 7-4 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field. While some players could push hard to impress a new team, that hasn’t been Dickerson’s approach the past two days.

“I didn’t try to put that kind of pressure on myself, I’ve been around long enough,” Dickerson said. “This year’s been about having fun.”

More fun was had as Dickerson became the first San Francisco player to collect nine RBIs through his first two games with the team, besting the previous mark of seven set by John Bowker from April 12-13, 2008 (per STATS, LLC). And that’s not the only way Dickerson’s two-game stretch was historic.

The 29-year-old outfielder became the third player in MLB history to collect nine or more RBIs in his first two games with a team, according to STATS, LLC, joining Francisco Arcia (10 for the Angels in 2018) and Joe Cunningham (nine for the Cardinals in 1954). He also is only the second Giants player in the modern era (since 1900) with four extra-base hits in his first two games with the team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, joining Mark Wasinger (May 7-9, 1987).

“It’s been just a huge shot in the arm,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s provided so much offense here in these first two games, and we needed it. We’d been struggling scoring runs, and I think he helps the rest of the guys, too. It seems like it relaxes guys.”

Dickerson, who missed all of 2017 and ‘18 due to injuries and was traded from the Padres to the Giants on June 10, was a double shy of the cycle on Friday. But he collected two-baggers in each of his first two plate appearances on Saturday. His second, which came in the third inning, plated a pair of runs to put the Giants ahead, 4-3.

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“It’s kind of the basics of hitting, for the most part,” Dickerson said. “There are some streaks where you feel good and right now, I feel good at the plate.”

Brandon Crawford followed each of Dickerson’s doubles with RBI singles as the Giants’ Nos. 6, 7 and 8 hitters -- Kevin Pillar, Dickerson and Crawford, respectively -- combined to go 6-for-12 with five RBIs and four runs scored.

Mike Yastrzemski extended the Giants’ lead to 7-4 with a two-run homer in the ninth, his third home run in four games, while the bullpen delivered five scoreless innings, capped by Will Smith’s 20th save of the season.

The addition of Dickerson has provided a boost to the Giants, as he’s driven in nine of their 18 runs in back-to-back wins over the D-backs. Before getting called up Friday to replace an injured Steven Duggar, Dickerson was 3-for-17 in six games with Sacramento. But he said after his San Francisco debut that he felt he had been due to swing the bat better.

He has, and the positive energy has helped the Giants clinch a series win at Arizona after dropping three of four games vs. the Dodgers to open this seven-game road trip.

“It’s been unbelievable, man,” San Francisco starter Tyler Beede said. “I met him the first day, he came in [Friday], he’s a quiet guy, and then he goes out there and lets his talent and ability speak for itself. He’s been a huge boost for the offense, huge boost for the team. Guys have rallied around him and encouraged him and been happy to see the success he’s had. He’s been great for the team and we’re happy to have him around here.”