SAN FRANCISCO -- Like they did in Tuesday's Bay Bridge series game in Oakland, the Giants found their offensive touch early on Thursday. Jarrett Parker doubled in his first at-bat since April, Brandon Belt notched his 18th homer -- matching his career-high mark -- and starter Ty Blach lifted his
SAN FRANCISCO -- Like they did in Tuesday's Bay Bridge series game in Oakland, the Giants found their offensive touch early on Thursday. Jarrett Parker doubled in his first at-bat since April, Brandon Belt notched his 18th homer -- matching his career-high mark -- and starter Ty Blach lifted his first career homer while pitching eight innings for an 11-1 rout of the A's on Grateful Dead Tribute Night at AT&T Park.
"He smoked it, didn't he?" Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Blach's blast. "I think he stunned us all, how far he hit it. … It was a Ty Blach show tonight. Eight innings, a three-run homer. Sure, we did a lot of good things. But what a game he had."
According to Statcast™, Blach's homer had a projected distance of 416 feet and an exit velocity of 103 mph.
Kendall Graveman, Oakland's Opening Day starter, lasted just two innings (40 pitches) in his return from the disabled list. He surrendered seven runs on eight hits, four of which were extra-base hits, in his first start after missing more than two months with right shoulder inflammation.
"Sometimes that first start back can be a little out of sorts," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The second inning, the velocity was better. The first inning, it looked like his velocity was down a little bit. But they were just on him -- got a lot of hits, scored seven runs on him."
The Giants bolstered Blach's chance at a win in the first and second innings, notching seven combined runs in Graveman's first start since May 19. Turns out Blach didn't need much of that support. The left-hander posted one of his best outings of the year, allowing just an RBI single to Matt Chapman in the fourth and a solo homer to Rajai Davis in the eighth. Blach has lasted at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.
Belt's homer was his second of the week after going roughly a month without a long ball. The Giants also benefited from the offensive wherewithal of Ryder Jones, who made his first appearance since his promotion from Triple-A Sacramento. He delivered two hits from the No. 2 spot while scoring a pair of runs.
"It's not being in awe of everything and getting used to it," Jones said. "Starting to feel a little more comfortable out there -- especially at the plate. Just trying to take deep breaths and have good at-bats. Tonight I felt really good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Parker makes them pay: Graveman appeared close to escaping his first-inning headache when he forced Hunter Pence to ground out for the second out. But Parker stepped to the plate -- his first at-bat in the Majors since April 15 -- with other thoughts on his mind. He lifted a sinker to left-center field, scoring Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. Parker broke his clavicle while colliding with the fence at AT&T Park in the season's opening month.
"He wasn't trying to hit the ball out," Bochy said. "That's something that's going to have to be a big part of his game. He can't be all-in on just trying to hit home runs."
Blach's big fly: Blach flashed his bat when he blasted a three-run homer in the fifth. Parker recorded his second double and the A's intentionally walked Joe Panik to bring Blach to the plate. The young pitcher made the A's pay though, scorching a 416-foot blast according to Statcast™. It was the first homer of his Majors career and first since high school. The Giants now have three pitchers who have hit a homer more than 400 feet. The Majors combined have three.
"The guy who caught it out there was really gracious," Blach said. "It was awesome; his name is Carlos. It was neat to be able to meet him. It's cool to have fans who do that and come out to support us."
"I knew I had it in there somewhere, I just haven't really found it for a while. It felt good to actually do it when it mattered." -- Blach, on his unexpected home run
"I wasn't on top of the baseball as I have been as much in the past, and it showed. I had some movement, but it wasn't the correct movement. For me, that's got to be first and foremost if I'm going to throw a majority of those." -- Graveman, on his struggles with his sinker
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Graveman's two-inning outing is the second-shortest start of his career. Ironically, the shortest outing of his career also came at AT&T Park, as he lasted only 1 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on July 26, 2015.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the bottom of the first, the Giants challenged that leadoff hitter Denard Span beat the throw to first from shortstop Marcus Semien. After a short review, the call on the field was confirmed.
A's: Right-hander Jharel Cotton (5-8, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in Anaheim as the A's take on the Angels at 7:05 p.m. PT on Friday. The rookie allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings Sunday against the Twins, his first start off the disabled list after battling a blister on his right thumb.
Giants: Ace Madison Bumgarner will look to set the tone for the Giants' three-game series against the D-backs on Friday in a 7:15 p.m. PT contest at AT&T Park. Bumgarner (1-4, 2.92 ERA) earned a no-decision last time out but pitched well against the surging Dodgers, posting seven innings of scoreless ball.
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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.