Pair of Mike Yastrzemski home runs lift Giants to series sweep of A’s


OAKLAND — A two-game sweep of the A’s was just what the Giants needed to regain a little grip on their postseason hopes.

Their playoff viability was thrown further into question after suffering a four-game sweep series to the juggernaut Dodgers at Oracle Park earlier this week, extending their losing streak against Los Angeles to eight for the first time since 1979. They’re still technically in reach of a wild card spot and seemed to have found their power stroke again after a 6-4 win on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of around 31,000 in Oakland.

Mike Yastrzemski hit two home runs, a solo home run, his 10th, off an 0-2 sinker from A’s starter Adrian Martinez and a two-run shot in the eighth inning that ended up being the deciding runs for San Francisco.

OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 07: Oakland Athletics pitcher Adrian Martinez (55) crashes into catcher Sean Murphy (12) while chasing a bunt hit by San Francisco Giants’ Joc Pederson (23) in the third inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. Pederson would be safe at first. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

Thairo Estrada, activated from the concussion IL prior to the game, hit a two-run home run off AJ Puk to give the Giants consecutive games in which they hit three home runs. Power was key in their success in 2021 that has turned on and off this season.

“We’ve been really close to clicking on all cylinders several times this year,” Yastrzemski said. “It’s nice to win a couple games in a row and see both sides of the ball working really well.”

Starter Logan Webb was strong in his outing against an A’s team in complete rebuild mode — despite his fastball velocity being a few ticks lower than usual.

“Sometimes Logan wants to see more (velocity) when he’s out there, but I think he’s really effective when the ball is just moving all over the place,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “He’s not a guy that needs to come out throwing 92, 93, 94 mph. You can not only survive, but thrive with that 91 mph sinker.”

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 07: San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb (62) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug.  7, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 07: San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb (62) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

He held Oakland hitless until the fifth inning, when Vimael Machín laced a double down just inside the third base line. It led to a run scored on Skye Bolt’s RBI single up the middle, a rally aided by Brandon Crawford’s 12th error of the year on Nick Allen’s ground ball.

But Webb’s stuff was crisp in his seven innings. He generated plenty of ground balls, but the Giants’ iffy defense couldn’t guarantee those grounders would get him out of innings. The A’s scored their second run in the seventh inning on a series of ground balls that could have been turned for double plays. He gave up just four hits and struck out five with three walks.

The Giants’ bats had his back — with the home run and otherwise.

Hits from Yastrzemski and Joey Bart got Martinez out of the game for left-handed reliever Sam Moll, who gave up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Austin Slater on a misplay by left fielder Tony Kemp to make it 2-0 before the A’s answered . Bart has been on a roll over his last eight games, as he went 1-for-4 and entered Sunday’s game batting .346 with 3 home runs and a 1,039 OPS since July 28.

“His at-bats started getting better a week ago,” Kapler said. “What stands out now is he’s starting to string them together over a longer period of time. Consistency is everything in this game. If you’re able to put together a week, two weeks, three weeks of high-quality at-bats, it really makes a difference from a winning perspective and for your overall numbers.”

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 07: Oakland Athletics' Skye Bolt (11) can only watch as a ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Mike Yastrzemski (5) goes over the centerfield wall for a two-run home run in the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug.  7, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 07: Oakland Athletics’ Skye Bolt (11) can only watch as a ball hit by San Francisco Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski (5) goes over the centerfield wall for a two-run home run in the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

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