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Take that, Carlos!

1st inning runs prove to be decisive in 4 - 1 win over Minnesota.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Minnesota Twins Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Four batters into the game, there were four runs on the board.

Michael Conforto’s 3-run homer against Minnesota Twins starter Bailey Ober on the 17th pitch of the game proved to be the deciding swing in the San Francisco Giants 4-1 win in against their former shortstop, Carlos Correa.

Offenses are usually temperamental, a winning team needs a stoic stable of arms to smooth over those inevitable valleys.

For most of the season, San Francisco hasn’t had that arm support—but In Monday’s win, their relievers made four 1st inning runs stick with 5 pitchers throwing 9 innings of 1-run ball while striking out 16 Twins in the scheduled bullpen game.

The Giants might be a different team than a couple of weeks ago.

Twins starter Bailey Ober had a sub-2.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP over 30.1 innings pitched (5 starts) entering Monday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

The imposing 6’9’’ Bailey had allowed 6 runs in his 5 previous starts—most recently 1-run over 6 innings against the Dodgers. By the time he had recorded his first out in the top of the 1st inning San Francisco had nearly matched that season total.

Wade, Yaz, J.D., and Conforto all reached base and all scored—walk, walk, RBI double, and 3-run homer. Ober had trouble either locating his fastball or generating whiffs on it. Davis scorched a double to the warning track in left, and the next one he threw, Conforto sent it flying 413 feet.

So what does John Brebbia do when given a 4-run lead before throwing a pitch? Exactly what he’s supposed to: fan two and land the first punch in the Carlos Correa-Giants rivalry by getting him to ground out to short.

Sean Manaea took over in the 2nd. After losing Donovan Solano (aka Donnie Barrels / #forevergiant) to a lead-off single, Manaea re-calibrated and struck-out Kyle Farmer and Willi Castro before Brett Wisely wrangled in on a Joey Gallo bounder to shut down the inning.

Though mechanically as erratic as ever, Manaea was decidedly not Manaea-like during his 3.2 innings pitched.

He bagged 8 strikeouts in 11 possible outs nor did he give up any hard contact in the air. Most importantly, he didn’t give up an earned run—his first clean-sheet of 2023 coming in his 10th appearance as a Giant.

A promising step—still, nothing seems to come easy or clean when Manaea is on the hill.

The Twins had at-bats with runners-on in each of the innings he took the mound. Manaea walked three, gave up three hits, and left the 5th after Carlos Correa doubled for his second hit of the night, putting runners in scoring position with Byron Buxton coming to the plate. Manaea threw 83 pitches, which is 8 more than Bailey Ober over his 5 innings, and he had thrown around 40 in the 1st inning alone.

After Sabol’s 11-pitch walk in the 1st, Ober allowed only one more base runner during his outing—a single by Brandon Crawford, who was promptly erased when Wisely lined into an inning-ending double play. The Giants next hit came off the bat of Sabol four innings later.

Tristan Beck inherited the Manaea mess in the 5th. With 9 days’ rest, the 26 year old had zero room to shake off cobwebs. Beck got Buxton to ground out to Casey Schmitt at third on one pitch. Buxton’s speed and Schmitt’s arm—one of the more exciting 5 - 3 plays you’ll see in a baseball game.

Beck then worked a 1-2-3 6th and 7th before giving up a solo home run to Kyle Garlick to lead-off the 8th. After freezing Correa on a knee-high fastball for the first out, Beck’s night began and ended with Buxton, hitting him with a breaking ball to elicit an emphatic walk to the mound from Kapler.

Tyler Rogers came in and walked Solano, bringing the tying run to the plate, before he struck out Farmer and Castro to end the threat.

Scott Alexander recorded the save in the 9th with the help of a 4-6-3 double play after hitting the lead-off batter. The Giants have won 6 of their last 7 and a win away from .500.

Take that!