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What we learned in Giants’ bounce-back win over Mariners originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

As it turns out, the season was not over after the Giants suffered an embarrassing loss in their opener, despite what you might have read on social media. 

The Giants got back on track in their second game of the year, with Donovan Solano‘s double giving them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish this time. The 6-3 win evened the record on the season. 

Johnny Cueto was solid in his season debut, Buster Posey and Evan Longoria homered again, and Jake McGee easily shut things down in the ninth for his first save in orange and black.

Here are three things to know from the night the Giants got back in the NL West race … 

Barrels is Back

Just in case you forgot why they call him Donnie Barrels in the clubhouse, Solano pulled his hands in on a fastball that wasn’t close to being a strike and smoked it down the left field line for his fifth hit in two games. That turned a tied game into a 5-3 Giants lead. He legitimately looks like he might take a shot at the batting title this year. 

Solano hit .330 in his first season with the Giants, .320 the next spring, and .326 in the shortened 2020 season. This spring, he hit a cool .421. Through two games and 10 at-bats, he has three singles and two doubles.

Letting Him Loose

Cueto wasn’t thrilled when Gabe Kapler pulled him after just 63 pitches on opening day last year, letting the manager know and mentioning it to the media after the game. But the two have talked about it repeatedly since, with Kapler vowing to give Cueto more say during games and a longer leash. That showed Friday. 

Cueto was at 94 pitches through five innings but that fifth frame was his best, and Kapler sent him back out. After walking the leadoff batter, he got Dylan Moore to bounce a slider to third on his 105th pitch, getting a huge double play. That was it for Cueto, who was charged with three earned and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. 

Cueto got 17 swinging strikes, easily his highest total since coming back from Tommy John surgery (his previous high was 12). The last time he got 17 swinging strikes in a game was back in 2017. 

Familiar Power

The lineup is going to be in fantastic shape if Posey and Longoria keep turning back the clock.

Posey went deep to dead center early in the game and Longoria tied it in the sixth with a two-run shot to right. Both have homered in each of the first two games. 

Posey had not gone deep in back-to-back games since hitting one in three straight from May 8-10, 2017. That was actually his best run in recent years, as he hit five homers over seven games.