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Melancon celebrates first save in a year

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lost in the Giants' excitement surrounding Madison Bumgarner's eight shutout innings in Thursday's 3-0 win over San Diego was Mark Melancon's moment of triumph.

Melancon completed the shutout by pitching an uneventful ninth inning and recording a save -- his first in almost exactly a year, since June 20, 2017.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Lost in the Giants' excitement surrounding Madison Bumgarner's eight shutout innings in Thursday's 3-0 win over San Diego was Mark Melancon's moment of triumph.

Melancon completed the shutout by pitching an uneventful ninth inning and recording a save -- his first in almost exactly a year, since June 20, 2017.

View Full Game Coverage

The Giants envisioned more productivity than that from Melancon when they signed him to a four-year, $62 million deal before last season. But forearm injuries limited the right-hander to 11 saves in 16 chances last season with the Giants after he amassed 98 saves in 2015-16.

Melancon was supplanted as closer by Sam Dyson last season and by Hunter Strickland this season. Both were unavailable on Thursday -- Dyson needed rest and Strickland's on the disabled list with a fractured hand -- which gave Melancon a chance to return to his familiar role.

"I'm very grateful I can be back and getting outs for this team," Melancon said Friday. "To be able to be back out there is really the exciting part."

Melancon admitted that he's still not quite ready to pitch consecutive games, which is a prerequisite for a closer. Until Melancon regains that knack, he's destined to remain part of the Giants' valuable setup corps.

"It's still a work in progress," the right-hander said. "I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but it's coming."

• The Giants signed right-hander Keaton Winn, their fifth-round Draft selection earlier this month. Winn had committed to Mississippi State, but the Giants lured him to professional ball with a $500,000 bonus -- $105,400 above the figure slotted for his order of selection, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. A product of Iowa Western Community College, Winn is said to possess a fastball that touches 94 mph and an above-average slider.

• The Giants also signed their eighth-round pick, right-hander Solomon Bates from the University of Southern California. Bates received a $150,000 bonus, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Bates' fastball typically sits in the 90-92 mph range, though it occasionally has reached 95.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Mark Melancon