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Yastrzemski lays out for final out in Giants' win

Closer Will Smith: 'He gets the save today, for sure'
@mi_guardado
June 15, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants closer Will Smith got the save, but give credit to rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. With Saturday's game on the line in the bottom of the ninth, Yastrzemski made a tremendous diving catch in left field to secure the Giants’ 8-7 win over the Brewers at Oracle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants closer Will Smith got the save, but give credit to rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski.

With Saturday's game on the line in the bottom of the ninth, Yastrzemski made a tremendous diving catch in left field to secure the Giants’ 8-7 win over the Brewers at Oracle Park.

“In that situation, we were going to be a little aggressive and try to make a play there,” Yastrzemski said according to KNBR. “And I knew that I had [center fielder Steven Duggar] behind me and that he would be there if I missed it, so there’s more confidence in the fact that, trust in the guy next to you if you miss it.”

“Amazing,” said Smith, who has now converted 18 consecutive saves to start the season. “Relief. He gets the save today, for sure.”

Manager Bruce Bochy said before the game that he was going to try to stay away from Smith, who had pitched in three of the previous four days. But Smith told pitching coach Matt Herges that he would be available to come out of the bullpen in a save situation, as he preferred to take Sunday off.

After the Giants surged to an 8-6 lead, Bochy sent Smith out to pitch the ninth. The 29-year-old left-hander struck out the first two batters of the inning before Christian Yelich homered to pull the Brewers within one. Ryan Braun followed with a single, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate in Yasmani Grandal, who lifted the ball into left-center field, where Yastrzemski came racing in before laying out to put the game away and clinch a series win for the Giants.

“I had a good view right off the bat,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “You can't ever tell from home plate how hard it's hit, but the way he was closing, I knew he was going to make a great attempt at it. Just sheer elation right when he caught it. That's a big win.”

“It’s a moment of relief because those last three outs are the hardest to get. And especially the last one,” Yastrzemski said. “When it finally ends and we solidify the ‘W,’ just take that deep breath and say all right, we’re good.”

The Giants, who trailed the first-place Brewers, 5-1, in the fourth inning, used 15 hits, including three apiece by Vogt and shortstop Brandon Crawford, to fuel their comeback and extend their win streak to a season-high four games. Two of Vogt’s hits were triples, making him the first Giants catcher to triple twice in /one game since Steve Nicosia on July 18, 1984 at St. Louis.

“That guy is a ballplayer,” left-hander Madison Bumgarner said of Vogt. “He’s fun to watch. He gives it all he’s got. Everybody really appreciates that. He’s a guy that’s easy to pull for.”

Vogt collected his second triple of the game in the seventh and scored on Kevin Pillar’s single to tie the game. Crawford followed with a double down the right-field line to put the Giants ahead, 7-6. On top of his two triples, Vogt also beat out a two-out infield single in the eighth to drive in the insurance run that allowed Smith to survive Yelich’s MLB-leading 26th home run of the year in the ninth.

“Obviously, you want to get that extra run anyway you can,” Vogt said. “I like to joke that the fastest human being on the planet is a baseball player who smells a hit. We're running pound-for-pound as fast as a human being can possibly run when we smell a hit.”

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.