Giants ride strong Wynns in back-and-forth affair

Recently acquired catcher matches career-best 4 RBIs, finishes a triple shy of the cycle

June 22nd, 2022

ATLANTA -- Austin Wynns' career game at the plate carried the Giants to a 12-10 win in a slugfest with the Braves on Tuesday at Truist Park.

Wynns, who was acquired in a trade with the Phillies in exchange for left-hander Michael Plassmeyer and cash considerations on June 8, matched his career high with four RBIs and logged a career-best three hits as he finished a triple shy of the cycle. Wynns went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer and an RBI double.

“We acquired Austin as a guy that we knew was going to give us a good at-bat,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Austin has come over and had quality at-bats. It hasn't always been as pretty as it was tonight, the homer and driving the baseball several times and finding holes, but he's had pretty consistently good at-bats. He's chosen good pitches to swing at, and that's really all we're asking of him.”

Wynns’ stellar performance was much needed in a shaky return by right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who came off the 60-day injured list to make his first start since April 21. The 32-year-old tossed just three innings, giving up five runs on six hits and one walk to go with three strikeouts.

“It felt good to be back out there. I was excited, amped up to be back out,” DeSclafani said. “It's tough to evaluate when you go three innings, five runs, but I guess the evaluation is we won the game.”

The Giants’ bullpen did its part against the Braves to help even the four-game set at one apiece. Five relievers were tasked with working through five innings and the group yielded just three runs (two earned) heading into the ninth. Tyler Rogers, a 31-year-old right-handed submarine specialist, was pivotal as he chewed up two perfect innings in the fifth and sixth frames.  

“Rogers was excellent for us tonight,” Kapler said. “Rogers was particularly calm and obviously productive. He got through two important innings for us right in the middle of the game, and I think that was really critical for us.”

With 13 combined runs scored through four innings -- all four of Wynns’ RBIs came before the fifth inning -- and the Giants trailing, 7-6, heading into the fifth, the offensive dogfight had only begun. San Francisco split its scoring in half, with six runs before and after the fifth inning.

Wilmer Flores played a key role after entering the game in the bottom of the fourth in place of shortstop Brandon Crawford, who exited in the top half with a left knee contusion sustained in an awkward collision at the plate with Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud. Crawford scored on a sacrifice fly by Luis González after a replay review overturned the original out call. 

In the top of the ninth, Flores drove in two of San Francisco’s three insurance runs with a two-run single to right field, while the third crossed on an RBI single by Thairo Estrada.

“[It] shows what type of guys we have, that we're nasty,” Wynns said about players stepping up and going toe-to-toe with the Braves. “We have a lot of dudes on this team, and everyone could [play] that important role that day.”

Camilo Doval, who has yielded three runs over 1 2/3 innings in this series, was tagged for a two-run homer by Matt Olson in the bottom of the ninth. Doval let his emotions get the better of him as he slammed his glove to the ground after retiring d’Arnaud on a fly ball to left in the next at-bat for the second out.

Ultimately, Wynns calmed the young pitcher down before he struck out Marcell Ozuna to secure the victory.

“I think he thought there were three outs,” Kapler said. “It was just a lot happening for him over the last couple of days. He's a young pitcher, he's finding his way, and there's a lot of frustration built up, and I feel like that was the moment it just kind of spilled out. We talked about it. He's not going to have that happen again. 

“He's a guy that's still developing, still growing, still learning himself and learning the league, and he understands that wasn't his best look, and he's gonna get better.”