SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Yastrzemskic briefly lost the line drive into the lights, but the right fielder realized he had to run back because the ball had gone over his head and he would have to jump.
So he closed his eyes, jumped and somehow made the catch.
“I was just hoping it went into my glove,” Yastrzemski said.
That robbed slugger Miguel Cabrera of a likely extra-base hit, and it certainly mattered in a one-run game.
Yastrzemski hit a two-run single and also made a great throw to his defensive gem, and the San Francisco Giants kept the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Just as manager Gabe Kapler was looking for a sharper performance from his team, particularly on defense, Yastrzemski and third baseman came Evan Longoria given the example.
“Sometimes it’s just a small moment when you see someone give a little extra to get you back into gear. Especially when things don’t go the way you want it to, it’s hard to really stay in that mindset,” Yastrzemski said. So kicking yourself up the butt for seeing someone else make the effort can sometimes be contagious.”
Giants lefty Carlos Rodón (7-4) gave up one run and seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He was hoping to throw another inning before the nail tore his middle finger and didn’t let it continue.
Rodón has allowed only two runs in his last 27 innings.
“It definitely makes it easier when the guys make plays like that,” he said.
Yastrzemski’s jumping catch on the run into right field in the eighth robbed Cabrera and helped San Francisco improve to 7-2 in interleague play.
Dominic Leone had walked only six batters in his first 29 appearances before giving up three free passes and giving up Willi Castro’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth. Camilo Doval was relieved and struckout Jonathan Schoop, then closed for his 12th save.
Doval drove Javier Báez into a game-ending double play, with the call at first base confirmed after a replay review.
Cabrera got the Tigers on the board with an RBI single in the sixth.
Longoria hit a two-run single in the first off Tarik Skubal (5-6). The lefty was done after 4 2/3 innings and has gone no more than five innings in four consecutive games. Born in Hayward, an East Bay suburb, Skubal gave up three runs and four hits and lost his fourth straight start.
This is the Tigers’ first trip to San Francisco since they were defeated by the Giants in the 2012 World Series, and their first visit for a regular season series since 2008.
Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson remembers cheering in the stands when San Francisco won the NL Championship Series in 2012 en route to its second World Series crown in three years. Marco Scutaro popped up to end it all and smiled as the rain poured down as the Giants took out St. Louis.
“It was just a really cool vibe,” Torkelson said. “I went to a lot of Giants games, but that was one of the most memorable.”
Torkelson, 22, grew up in Petaluma, a wine country in North Bay, where his kindergarten teacher painted a mural of what was then Pac Bell Park on his bedroom wall. He expected some 500 supporters to be in the stands cheering him on when he returned home – including immediate family such as his parents, brother, grandmother and uncle.
The top pick in the 2020 Arizona state amateur draw, he already had a homecoming in Phoenix over the weekend when Detroit played the Diamondbacks.
Tigers: RHP Miguel Pineda, recovering from a broken middle finger on his pitching hand that has sidelined him since May 15, throws a bullpen at Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday and could be lining up for the Tigers on Friday to start at home against Kansas City. … VAN Austin Meadows has returned from COVID-19 but is still dealing with strains in both Achilles tendons, which the Tigers hope won’t last long. “Now we wait for him to heal,” said manager AJ Hinch.
Giants: Kapler is confident SS Brandon Crawford – placed on Sunday’s 10-day injured list with left knee inflammation – will be in much better health for the stretch run after this time off to get his body in order. “Every day gets a little better. We now have a plan to get him back to full health, explosiveness and a clear head,” Kapler said. “We are excited about what he can bring when he returns to the club.”
RHP Rony García (2-2, 4.57 ERA) will pitch the afternoon series final for Detroit on Wednesday against LHP Alex Wood (5-6, 5.05).
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