SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Giants right-hander Chris Stratton finally showed signs of getting back to the pitcher he’d been earlier in the season. His curveball danced up and down, and he worked with a determined pace that he admitted had been missing.
Three innings of scoreless relief by San Francisco’s bullpen were equally critical.
Stratton and three relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 on Friday night.
Joe Panik singled twice and reached base four times in his return to San Francisco’s lineup after missing a month with a left thumb injury. Brandon Crawford had two hits while Evan Longoria and Gorkys Hernandez drove in runs.
“We did just about everything right,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It starts with Stratton and what he did. Really had all his pitches going and did a nice job.”
Stratton (7-3) allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one over six innings in his best start in more than a month. The right-hander had a 6.31 ERA in five May starts but was mostly dominant against the Phillies while allowing only two runners to reach second base.
“When you start to struggle a little bit, you try to find something,” Stratton said. “Getting my tempo up is what really helped me turn the page there. It helps get your arm out and on top. I’ve been throwing a lot of curveballs kind of behind me. It’s just helped the arm speed up.”
Tony Watson retired three batters in the seventh, and Sam Dyson struck out the side on 12 pitches in the eighth. Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth for his 12th save, setting down three straight after giving up an infield single and double to open the inning.
It’s San Francisco’s fifth shutout this season.
“It all started with Strat setting the tone,” Strickland said. “He did a tremendous job and kept his pitch count down. And the bullpen’s been doing a great job collectively as a group all year.”
The Giants had lost six straight to the Phillies, including a four-game sweep in Philadelphia earlier this season.
Panik didn’t play in that series. The Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman spent more than a month on the disabled list after having surgery on his left thumb in late April.
Activated before Friday’s game, Panik walked and scored in the first inning, then singled in Mac Williamson in the second. Panik also walked in the fourth and reached on an infield single in the sixth.
Andrew McCutchen tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh for the Giants.
Scott Kingery had two hits for Philadelphia and Dylan Cozens singled in his major league debut. The Phillies hadn’t been shut out since they were blanked by the Mets on April 3.
“I think we can do a better job, of at the end of at-bats, putting the ball in play,” Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler said. “I don’t think that’s disputable. At the end of the day this just is about getting on base, and we’re probably not doing enough of that right now.”
Philadelphia starter Nick Pivetta (4-4) allowed three runs in four innings. Pivetta beat the Giants on May 9 when he pitched five scoreless innings.
BELT LEAVES WITH POSSIBLE APPENDICITIS
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was removed in the third inning and taken to a local hospital for a possible case of appendicitis. “He wasn’t feeling well before the game,” Bochy said. “After the first at-bat it just got worse.”
San Francisco pitchers recorded a season-high 13 strikeouts. It’s the sixth consecutive game that Philadelphia’s offense has reached double digits in strikeouts.
Giants: Infielder Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to Class A San Jose. RHP Tyler Beede was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. RHP Jose Valdez was designated for assignment.
Right-hander Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.08 ERA) pitches for Philadelphia on Saturday night. Velasquez had a season-high 12 strikeouts against San Francisco on May 10. LHP Andrew Suarez (1-4, 5.65) goes for the Giants in his first career start against the Phillies.
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