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What we learned as Giants silence Ohtani, shut out Angels originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Major League Baseball decided that the talk of the sport this week should be umpires checking gloves, hats and even belts, leading to some awkward images and harsh words around the league.

The Giants simply kept their heads down, kept hitting and pitching, and pushed further ahead of the pack. 

Coming off an offensive explosion of a homestand, the Giants scored four runs in the first inning Tuesday and cruised to a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. It was a rally that showed off so much of what they do well. Buster Posey put one on the ground with a runner on third and Brandon Belt did the same. That was followed by the power that has — surprisingly — become so familiar around here; Wilmer Flores hit a two-run homer. 

Anthony DeSclafani did the rest, taking a shutout through seven and handing a big lead over to the bullpen. After going 6-1 on the homestand, the Giants will go for a mini-sweep on the road Wednesday when Kevin Gausman faces Shohei Ohtani. Here are three more things to know … 

Didn’t Seem Impressed

DeSclafani fed Ohtani a steady diet of pitches at the top of the zone and above it, striking him out twice (Ohtani also walked in his first plate appearance). The Angels superstar swung through a slider at the letters for the first strikeout, and the next time he got another high slider, this time swinging through one up and away.

Only the pitch count kept DeSclafani from chasing his third shutout of the year. He ended his night by retiring 14 in a row and ended up with seven shutout innings. DeSclafani struck out nine, walked two and allowed just three hits, lowering his ERA to 2.77, which ranks second on the staff and 14th in the National League. 


Belt gets shifted 85 percent of the time so occasionally he shows bunt. Belt rarely actually puts one down, but he pushed a perfect bunt down the third base line and off the bag in the first inning to bring Darin Ruf home from third for the second run of the big inning. 

Belt has three bunt singles this year, leading the team. The Giants have 10 of them overall. 

Road Power

The Giants entered the night with 60 homers on the road, the most in baseball, and they didn’t waste any time adding to that total. Flores hit a two-run blast in the first inning to give the Giants a 4-0 lead and Mauricio Dubon opened the second with a solo blast. 

Flores got off to a slow start this year but has been scorching hot over the last week. He hit two homers Sunday and his blast Tuesday extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He’s 13 for 31 over the streak.

Dubon’s homer was his fifth, a career-high. It was the 109th of the season for the Giants, the most in the Majors. Dubon became the 11th different Giant to reach five homers.