SAN FRANCISCO — With stops in Houston and Cincinnati, you figured this would be the trip the Giants ended their run of scoring six or fewer runs, and they didn’t wait around to do it.
Matt Duffy drove in five runs to lead the way as the Giants walloped the Astros 8-1 on the first night of a six-game road trip. They crossed the six-run threshold for the first time since Game 4 of the World Series, and the outburst came on a night when Chris Heston barely needed any help. The rookie threw his first career complete game, allowing just two hits.
Duffy did the heavy lifting for the lineup, hitting a three-run double in the first inning and then a two-run single in the fifth that finally got the Giants that elusive seventh run. He became the third Giant in the last two seasons to have five RBI in a game and the first Giants rookie to do it since Buster Posey (of course) drove in six runs on July 7, 2010.
Plenty of Giants bats got healthy hacks against Collin McHugh, who took a loss for the first time since last July 27.
Starting pitching report: Heston kind of got lost in the shuffle early because the offense finally broke out, but the rookie dazzled while throwing the first complete game this season by a Giants starter. Heston retired the final 22 Astros and had 10 strikeouts, becoming the first Giants rookie to hit double-digits since Tim Lincecum struck out 12 Diamondbacks on July 1, 2007.
Bullpen report: Hopefully these guys loaded up on BBQ all day, because they had the day off.
At the plate: The team leaders in RBI on May 12: Brandon Crawford (17), Justin Maxwell (15), Duffy (15). Who predicted that when camp broke? Maxwell won’t hit this number because he’ll lose his starting job to Hunter Pence in a few days, but he’s on pace for 74 RBI, which would shatter the career-high of 53 that he set when he was a semi-regular for the Astros in 2012.
In the field: As Mike Krukow said on the broadcast, it was Matt Duffy Night. The third baseman made a leaping grab to rob Jason Castro of a single in the fifth inning. It’s nice to be 6-foot-2.
Up next: Tim Hudson will take the mound against A.J. Hinch’s Astros. What’s unique about that? Hinch was behind the plate when Hudson made his A’s debut on June 8, 1999. The Astros manager will send lefty Brett Oberholtzer to the mound for his big league debut.