The San Francisco Giants will get another opportunity to unleash a new weapon against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Saturday night when the National League West rivals continue their three-game series.
Moved from seventh to first in the lineup in a late change due to dizziness experienced by leadoff man Austin Slater, Luis Matos provided a spark that had been missing during the Giants‘ six-game losing streak. Matos recorded a season-high three hits, including a pair of doubles, in his team’s 9-8 win on Friday.
Making his first major-league start as a leadoff hitter, Matos also walked and scored a run as the Giants (71-70) remained 2 1/2 games back in the NL wild-card race. San Francisco trailed by as many as four runs on Friday and needed all of its 13 hits, three walks and two hit batters to record the victory.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler acknowledged after the game that he’s uncertain of Slater’s availability for the rest of the series. The speedy Matos, however, assured he’d batted leadoff plenty in his life and looked forward to doing whatever his manager needed.
“It’s part of baseball,” Matos said of the club’s six-game skid leading into the current six-game homestand. “You have ups and you have downs. I feel the team will grow from this and go in a new way.”
The news was not all good for the Giants, as right-hander Alex Cobb had to be scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to pain in his hip.
Cobb pronounced himself ready to pitch through the pain. However, in the wake of him having been blasted for a pair of home runs in just three innings in a 4-0 road loss to the San Diego Padres last Sunday, Kapler elected to push the 35-year-old back at least until Monday’s series opener against the Cleveland Guardians.
Giants right-hander Logan Webb (9-12, 3.51 ERA) has been moved up a day to take Saturday’s start.
Webb has lost three straight outings, including 5-0 to the Chicago Cubs on Monday. The 26-year-old, however, has a 7-2 lifetime record and 3.50 ERA against Colorado in 13 career appearances (12 starts).
Right-hander Chase Anderson (0-4, 5.98) will get the start on Saturday for the Rockies (51-89).
Anderson, 35, returned from a six-week absence due to inflammation in his right shoulder to throw four effective innings last Sunday at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. He allowed two runs and four hits in a no-decision.
Anderson also received a no-decision in a start against the Giants in June, allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings with a season-best seven strikeouts. He has gone 3-3 with a 4.77 ERA in 11 career starts against San Francisco.
The Giants teed off on the Colorado bullpen in Friday’s win, hammering four relievers who did not include Daniel Bard, who has been battling arm fatigue.
Even as the team examines younger talent, the veteran insisted he’d like to be considered moving forward.
“Hopefully, I’ll get three or four more outings before the year ends,” he said. “Hopefully, I can finish with some good ones going into the off-season.”
—Field Level Media