Starter ejected, but 'resilient' Giants rally

September 18th, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- Thursday afternoon's game began on an inauspicious note for the Giants. Their best player, , departed in the second inning with a tight right calf. Their starting pitcher, , was tossed in the third for arguing balls and strikes.

But their replacements -- rookie outfielder and reliever -- came up huge and helped spark the Giants’ 6-4 comeback win over the Mariners, sealing a sweep of this two-game “road” series at Oracle Park.

The Giants trailed, 4-1, when Anderson was ejected by home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso to start the third inning, but Peralta subsequently came in and didn’t allow a hit over a career-high three innings to keep San Francisco within striking distance and prevent manager Gabe Kapler from taxing his bullpen even further.

“Peralta came up huge for us,” Kapler said. “As tough as [Anderson’s ejection] was, it was equally rewarding, and in some ways inspiring, to see him come out and give us the length that he did and battle. He gave us a chance to climb back into the game.

“I thought our guys continued to be resilient and believe that they’re always in a baseball game. We’ve taken a lot of blows, and losing TA there was another one. It would have been a really easy opportunity for us to kind of put our heads down, and we did just the opposite, so I’m proud of the fight in these guys today.”

Basabe, who replaced Yastrzemski in right field in the bottom of the second, collected his first career Major League hit with a leadoff single in the sixth, igniting a two-run rally that brought the Giants within one. The 24-year-old then drew a two-out walk in the seventh and flashed his elite speed by scoring the go-ahead run from first on ’ two-run triple off Mariners right-hander Kendall Graveman.

“I know he can run,” Flores said of Basabe. “There was no question he was going to score.”

Alex Dickerson followed with an RBI single to extend the Giants’ lead to 6-4. Dickerson entered the game in the sixth as a pinch-hitter for Darin Ruf, who homered off Mariners left-hander Nick Margevicius to put San Francisco on the board in the second.

Basabe added another walk in the ninth to set up his first career stolen base. He said he planned to call his twin brother, D-backs prospect , to relish the milestones and gift the ball from his first hit to his mother, Dixi.

“It was a great feeling,” Basabe said. “I wanted to laugh because I felt really happy. I’m going to keep moving forward from here.”

The Giants (25-24) have now won 10 of their last 15 games to keep themselves in the thick of the National League Wild Card race with 11 games left to play. They won each of their four games against the Mariners this season, but they’ll face a stiffer test this weekend when they head to Oakland for a three-game series against the A’s, who are in first place in the American League West.

Still, resilience has emerged as a defining trait for the 2020 Giants, who have dealt with a COVID-19 scare and a relocated series due to poor air quality in the past week alone. More hurdles presented themselves on Thursday with the loss of two key players, but they continued to roll with the punches.

Anderson barked at Moscoso after a borderline call on a 3-2 pitch led to a leadoff walk for Kyle Lewis in the third. Moscoso appeared to warn Anderson, but the 30-year-old veteran continued to vent his frustration on the mound, leading to his second career ejection and his first since Aug. 13, 2016.

“That’s obviously my mistake,” Anderson said. “That can’t happen. In a situation where our ‘pen is short, that absolutely can’t happen. I wasn’t directing anything at [Moscoso], but I was saying something. It was nothing intended at him, but it just can’t happen.”

Anderson recorded only six outs before he was tossed, leaving the Giants’ bullpen to cover the remaining seven innings. The short start came one day after fellow lefty Drew Smyly pitched only 3 2/3 innings in Wednesday’s 9-3 win over the Mariners -- inopportune timing considering the Giants have no off-days remaining this season and are in the middle of a stretch in which they’ll play 13 games in 12 days.

Peralta did the heavy lifting with a 49-pitch outing on Thursday, but the rest of the Giants’ relievers shined as well, with Rico Garcia, Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers and Sam Selman combining to throw four scoreless innings to end the game. Garcia earned his first win, while Selman recorded his first save.

“That was awesome, our whole ‘pen and our offense,” Anderson said. “We were put in a really bad situation because of me, and our guys fought, and that was really great. I felt really terrible inside leaving them out to dry like that. But to see everybody step up and have big performances, that was huge for the team.”