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Jeff Samardzija masterful in near shutout, Giants beat Rays to open series

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The Giants continue their winning streak, extending it to six games

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When playing at a place like the Trop against one Tampa Bay Rays, one must not look away, because that’s how baseballs could get lost in the silver metallic dome¹.

No baseballs were lost in the dome this time, but some baseballs (or rather, a baseball) were hit into the stands² and it landed fair.

The runs were there for the Giants, hallelujah. Brandon Belt doesn’t seem to let baseballs hitting appendages get in the way of him hitting a baseball for a home run. That’s just what Belt does. And when he does it, it’s joyous.

Belt scored two runs this evening, going 2-for-3 and raising his average to .306. That’s pretty swell.

Jeff Samardzija nearly pitched a shutout. And he would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for that pesky Brad Miller. Two out, none on, bottom of the ninth. Though, to be fair, Samardzija was at around 110 pitches. One run is not the end of the world when you’ve got a four run lead.

The Giants are now 9-5 in Samardzija starts. That’s not too shabby at all, I’d say.

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In a moment of humanity, though: The Rays wore Orlando Rays caps today, their old Double-A team in, well, Orlando. They did this in honor and in tribute to the city of Orlando and those lost in and those who survived the recent attack on the LGBTQ community and the community of Orlando.

Rob Manfred said, in a video shown prior to the game, “The LGBT community is part of the baseball community.” And in June, which is known as Pride Month, after an attack like that, on the team’s Pride Night, those words mean a lot to those in the stands, watching at home, listening on the radio. That even as they may be threatened in the world, there’s a space for LGBTQ-identifying fans in baseball.

And as baseball goes on, we remember that we can still seek solace in a game that’s there, from April to September—October, if they make it that far—and for 162 games a season. And as baseball fans, we are brought together, through tragedy, through triumphs, with a love of the game in front of us.

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Tomorrow, the Giants go at it again against the Rays, at around 1 p.m. PT. Albert Suarez takes the mound because Matt Cain is on the DL³ and will face Matt Moore. The Giants will look to Rays the issue⁴ of scoring runs against their rotation and their bullpen.

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¹I am not anti-dome. Rather, I am vehemently “please build ballparks with domes that do not look like the inside of my cat’s food bowl.”

²I can’t say “out of the park” because there is literally no way a baseball could leave a domed ballpark. That is physically impossible unless the exit velo is so hard, it rips a hole through the building.

³Again. Sad face emoji.

⁴I am so sorry.