Blach blasts off: Rookie hits first homer

Besides going deep, lefty yields two runs over eight frames

August 4th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- single-handedly impressed the Giants with a towering three-run home run in the fifth inning. But on any other night, his eight innings of two-run ball would have easily lead the postgame chatter.

So it goes for Blach, the crafty left-hander, who has strung together a run of good starts. His latest came in a 11-2 rout of the A's at AT&T Park on Thursday. He put a punctuation mark on his night with the 416-foot blast, the first since his days at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.

"I knew I had it in there somewhere," Blach said. "I just haven't really found it for a while. Felt good to actually do it when it mattered."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, normally even-keeled, flashed a smile when Blach returned to the Giants' dugout.

"It was the Ty Blach Show tonight. … Sure, we did a lot of good things, scored runs, but what a game he had," Bochy said. "I think we were all stunned by what happened there."

Blach joined and Jeff Samardzija as Giants pitchers who have hit a homer at least 400 feet this season. The rest of the Majors has three pitchers combined.

After the game, Blach swapped a bat and a ball for the newest piece of his milestone collection. Blach said he usually lifts only one homer a day during batting practice. But nothing like Bumgarner.

"He hits about 50 a day," Blach said unequivocally.

Home runs aside, Blach's performance atop the mound Thursday had Bochy gushing with praise.

"I think he's filled in nicely," Bochy said. "He's had some great games. This kid, you just love his tempo out there."

Blach has lasted at least seven innings in his last four starts and his Thursday mark of eight innings was his longest since his shutout against the Pirates in early June.

Blach initially assumed a spot in the rotation after Bumgarner's untimely injury. But as Bochy pointed out, the young southpaw has likely worked his way into the organization's long-term plans.

"I think he has been one of the silver lining things we've had happen this year," Bochy said.