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5-run 6th hands Rodriguez win in 1st MLB start

Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- With three consecutive solid outings by their starting pitchers, including Dereck Rodriguez's six-inning gem in Sunday's 6-1 win over the Phillies, things are finally starting to look up for the Giants.

Manager Bruce Bochy's ballclub is also set to welcome back ace Madison Bumgarner next week and two other starters could be back in the rotation soon as well.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- With three consecutive solid outings by their starting pitchers, including Dereck Rodriguez's six-inning gem in Sunday's 6-1 win over the Phillies, things are finally starting to look up for the Giants.

Manager Bruce Bochy's ballclub is also set to welcome back ace Madison Bumgarner next week and two other starters could be back in the rotation soon as well.

View Full Game Coverage

Joe Panik and Buster Posey hit back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth and Andrew McCutchen followed with a three-run home run, lifting the Giants past the Phillies at AT&T Park to complete a three-game sweep.

"When you get your guys to get you somewhat deep in the game -- sixth, seventh inning -- it allows you to use the guys that you want to use and keeps the bullpen fresher," Bochy said. "It couldn't have worked out better. It's nice to have these starters taking us where they're getting us right now."

Rodriguez gave up one run over six innings to win his first Major League start. Rodriguez, son of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, gave up a solo home run to Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta, but struck out six, walked two and deftly pitched through traffic most of the afternoon.

That came on the heels of similar starts by Chris Stratton on Friday and Andrew Suarez on Saturday.

"It's awesome," Rodriguez said of his first career win. "It's a great feeling. We battled out there and that sixth inning the guys really pulled together and put up a five-spot against Arrieta. He's been dealing the past month, so that was huge. It was just a fun day out there."

The Giants outscored the Phillies 11-1 in the series, including shutouts in the first two games.

"They say pitching and defense wins championships for a reason," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "If [our starters] go out there and throw like they did this series, in a way, it kind of takes the pressure off of us. We only need to score a few runs. It's not like we have to go out there and put up eight, nine runs every game. They're holding it down. No runs the first couple games and then one today."

Video: PHI@SF: Crawford robs Alfaro of a hit in the 6th

San Francisco couldn't get much going early against Arrieta. The Giants managed only two singles through the first five innings, while Philadelphia turned three double plays.

It all changed in the sixth.

After Arrieta struck out Mac Williamson to open the inning, Gorkys Hernandez and pinch-hitter Alen Hanson both singled. Panik, who returned to the lineup Friday after missing a month due to a left thumb injury, singled in Hernandez with the tying run.

Video: PHI@SF: Panik hits an RBI single to right in the 6th

Posey drove in Hanson with the go-ahead run, before McCutchen's towering drive landed in the stands in right field, just inside the foul pole. The homer went 336 feet with an exit velocity of 94.9 mph and a launch angle of 34 degrees, according to Statcast™. It was McCutchen's fourth home run this season.

Video: PHI@SF: McCutchen crushes a 3-run dinger to right

"Just really good at-bats, guys battling up there," Bochy said. "We had our hands full because [Arrieta] was throwing well."

Posey homered in the eighth off Hector Neris. Posey's home run had an exit velocity of 100.4 mph with an angle of 24 degrees and went 365 feet.

Video: PHI@SF: Posey homers over the left-field wall

Rodriguez and three relievers did the rest.

Mark Melancon made his 2018 debut and struck out the side on 14 pitches in the seventh. Will Smith pitched the eighth and Reyes Moronta worked the ninth.

Video: PHI@SF: Melancon K's Hernandez in first outing of '18

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rodriguez keeps calm: The Phillies had runners on first and second not long after Arrieta's home run and were threatening to break the game open with cleanup hitter Nick Williams up in the third. But Rodriguez got Williams to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

Video: PHI@SF: Rodriguez earns 1st MLB win against the Phils

"This kid's calm," Bochy said. "He's got a lot of confidence. He's really focused, too. For someone that's converted, he's got a nice feel for pitching."

SOUND SMART
This marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team held an opponent to one run in a three-game series, with the one run coming on a home run by the opposing team's pitcher.

HE SAID IT
"They had their way with us in Philly. We got beat up pretty good. You always want to get back and get even, and the guys did. They were determined to punch back, I guess you could say, and they did with a nice three-game sweep." -- Bochy, whose Giants were swept in a four-game series by the Phillies in May 

UP NEXT
Left-hander Derek Holland (3-6, 4.94 ERA) goes for his second consecutive victory when the Giants open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Monday at 7:10 p.m. PT at AT&T Park. Holland faced the D-backs on April 9 and struck out a season-high eight batters. Arizona counters with right-hander Zack Godley (5-4, 4.38).

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Dereck Rodriguez