video thumbnail

CLE@CWS: Carrasco nabs De Aza at first on pickoff

If it's true that there's no place like home, the Giants have to be happy about heading back to the Bay Area this weekend.

Their road trip finale notwithstanding -- although it should be noted that they hit six home runs, including one grand slam -- the Giants were in search of their offensive mojo, having hit .166 as a team through the first five games. They were also batting at an .063 clip with runners in scoring position and had averaged 1.8 runs per game.

But they're 5-4 at AT&T Park, and they're coming off a convincing performance at the plate after about a week of very little going right.

"We still have to do a little better job with men on base," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're leaving some guys stranded, not moving guys. And that's got to pick up a little bit. But still, you're seeing better at-bats."

The Giants will open a three-game Interleague series Friday with the Indians, who beat the Royals, 5-1, on Thursday to reach the .500 mark, but who are a game under .500 on the road.

The Indians will send right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the mound with the intent to help him to his first win of 2014. In his last outing against the Blue Jays at home Sunday, he took a no-decision after allowing four earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five. He's winless in three starts.

The Giants will counter with Tim Hudson, who has struggled in his career against the Indians, posting a 1-2 record and a 6.33 ERA over eight appearances. He has never faced Cleveland in Interleague Play.

Giants: Offense coming around?
This club was in need of some kind of outburst, and it got just that in the series finale with the Rockies on Wednesday. Before they scored 12 runs in that game, the Giants had scored two runs or fewer in six of their previous seven games.

But the games have been close, including their 12-10 win over the Rockies to end that series. Additionally, 10 of their past 13 games have been decided by one run.

Indians: Stingy pitchers
The Tribe have allowed 14 home runs this season, the fewest in the Majors behind only Atlanta (nine) and San Diego (13). When the Royals' Mike Moustakas went deep in the fourth inning Wednesday, it ended a streak of 42 consecutive homerless innings for the Indians' staff as a whole, including 27 2/3 frames for the rotation.

The bullpen, specifically, has been a bright spot. After Thursday's finale, the relievers have posted a 2.74 ERA, third in the AL behind Boston and Oakland. The 'pen's .214 opponents' average is second lowest in the league and fourth lowest in the Majors. Relievers have stranded 29 of 32 inherited runners for a Major League-best 90.6 success rate.

Worth noting
• The Giants and Indians will play each other for the first time since 2011. That year, the Giants swept the Indians in a three-game Interleague set in San Francisco.

• Overall, San Francisco is 5-4 vs. Cleveland.

• The Giants have ended a 22-game stretch in which they played NL West opponents to open the 2014 season.

• San Francisco's Sergio Romo ended a string of seven scoreless outings when he allowed a home run Wednesday, but before that, opponents were hitting .045 (1-for-22) against him with eight strikeouts over a week-long span.

• The Giants' Pablo Sandoval was lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh because of a stomach virus, so presumably, he'll benefit from the day off and be ready to play Friday.

MLB.com Comments