OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — This is the team the Giants thought they should be all along. In a season all but lost, home runs sailed over the fence, the lead held up and they added on with key hits to support Jeff Samardzija.
Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer and Nick Hundley contributed a two-run shot to back Samardzija’s stellar start, and San Francisco beat the Oakland Athletics 10-4 on Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Brandon Belt homered leading off the fourth inning for San Francisco. The Giants’ five runs in the first matched their most in any inning this year, and their three homers also equaled a season high.
“It’s great to see. It’s who we think we are on a consistent basis,” Samardzija said. “That’s the Giants team we know we are. We’ll keep going at it and keep working. We’ve got a handful of games here along the way to get better and really see what we’re made of.”
Samardzija (6-11), now one of last-place San Francisco’s most steady pitchers after an 0-5 start, struck out five over eight innings to win consecutive outings for the second time this year.
Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly for the A’s.
The Bay Bridge Series now shifts to San Francisco’s AT&T Park for the final two games.
Samardzija, who pitched for Oakland in the second half of 2014, allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits in a 118-pitch outing.
“We played some good team ball today,” Pence said.
The Giants immediately jumped on Sean Manaea (8-6) in the first, getting RBI singles from Kelby Tomlinson and Buster Posey after Gorkys Hernandez led off the game with a double. San Francisco batted around in the inning, and Posey added an RBI double in the second.
Manaea got tagged for nine hits and six runs — two earned.
“They definitely smacked me around a little bit,” he said. “They were squaring up balls. It just seemed like every ball just found the grass or got by somebody.”
Manaea was done after three innings for the second-shortest outing of his career after he lasted only 2 2/3 innings on May 10, 2016, against the Red Sox. The lefty was 7-2 over his previous 13 outings dating to May 20.
“It was nice. I can’t tell you the last time we scored five in the first,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “(Things) haven’t gone well, but the offense has really done a pretty good job.”
Bochy said he and the coaches would meet Wednesday to discuss who to invest playing time in down the stretch given the team is out of contention, including what’s next for struggling right-hander Matt Cain, and other potential roster decisions.
That includes how to use rehabbing outfielder Jarrett Parker, who is eligible to return from a broken right clavicle that has sidelined him since April 16.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto will be re-evaluated in a week after an MRI showed a mild flexor strain in his pitching arm. He came out of a rehab outing after three scoreless innings Monday night with Class A San Jose as he works back from three tender spots on his fingers. He will undergo treatment and do some conditioning, and the Giants expect Cueto to pitch again. “We hope he’s back this year, for sure,” athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said. “We’re optimistic about that.” … Giants closer Mark Melancon (right pronator strain) will pitch for San Jose in his next rehab appearance Wednesday.
Athletics: Dustin Fowler, acquired from the Yankees on Monday in the deal that sent Sonny Gray to New York, arrived on crutches and with a bulky brace over his surgically repaired right knee. The 22-year-old outfielder quickly got acquainted with his new surroundings and met manager Bob Melvin as the A’s begun the process of evaluating his progress from a June 29 injury in the first inning of his major league debut. Fowler is on the 60-day disabled list and will stay with the club to rehab for the time being as the medical staff monitors his rehab. Fowler hopes to return to baseball activities in December, and the expectation is he will be fully healthy by spring training.
Giants: LHP Matt Moore (3-10, 5.74 ERA) is 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in four career starts vs. Oakland.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Gossett (2-6, 5.74) faces the Giants for the first time coming off a loss to Minnesota on Friday in which he allowed a season-high three walks.
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