Giants look to continue surge against Jake Arrieta, Cubs

Sports

Right-hander Jake Arrieta will take the mound Friday when the Chicago Cubs visit the San Francisco Giants in the second contest of a four-game series.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said in his postgame press conference late Thursday night that he was not prepared to name a starting pitcher for Friday’s rematch.

San Francisco got the jump in the series opener, riding the bat of Brandon Crawford and right arm of Anthony DeSclafani to a 7-2 win.

The victory was the Giants’ fifth in their past six games, and came against a Cubs team coming off a three-game sweep of one of San Francisco’s chief rivals in the West: the San Diego Padres.

Arrieta has pitched well against the Giants in the regular season in his career, going 5-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 10 starts.

The 35-year-old has a long — and generally successful — history against several of the Giants’ veterans, including Crawford (3-for-22), Buster Posey (2-for-21), Evan Longoria (5-for-20), Brandon Belt (2-for-14) and Wilmer Flores (4-for-17).

With Longoria (intercostal strain) and Belt (tightness in left oblique) out of the lineup, the Giants got a combined five hits, four RBIs and five runs scored from Crawford, Posey and Flores in Thursday’s win.

Crawford, a three-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop, also made a number of strong plays in the field — including a barehand grab on Kris Bryant’s slow roller in the third inning. He quickly fired the ball to LaMonte Wade Jr. at first base for the out.

Kapler and DeSclafani gushed about Crawford’s performance afterward.

“Off-the-charts game from Craw,” Kapler said. “He was playing a great defensive game as well. Heady on the bases. He’s having a great year.”

Said DeSclafani of Crawford: “It’s insane. I think when you’re talking about the best, it’s consistency and doing it for a long time. It’s not just one year, or three years. He’s been doing it for a really long time and it’s super impressive to watch. I’m just glad to be on his team. To be able to watch him night in and night out, it’s great.”

Joc Pederson provided the Cubs’ offensive highlight of the series opener with his fifth home run of the season — a towering shot into the San Francisco Bay. The blast gave Chicago a 2-1 lead in the third inning.

The homer was the 13th against the Giants for the former Los Angeles Dodgers star.

“He’s pretty comfortable on the West Coast. He’s been out here a while,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Really nice swing, loud off the bat. He had some really good at-bats overall.”

The homer was Pederson’s fourth in his past 13 games after he’d had just one in his first 29 as a member of the Cubs.

“It just comes down to trusting and believing in what I can do on the field,” Pederson said. “I know what type of player I am.”

–Field Level Media

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