SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

SF Giants go for 4-game sweep of Chicago Cubs

Jun 27, 2024, 7:15 AM | Updated: 7:16 am

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: Michael Conforto #8 of the San Francisco Giants trots around t...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants go for their first four-game home sweep of the Chicago Cubs since 2012 when the clubs wrap up their rematch series Thursday afternoon.

After losing two of three in Chicago last week, the Giants have ridden surprisingly strong pitching to win the first three games of the series 5-4, 5-1 and 4-3.

The Giants went without traditional starting pitchers in the first two games of the series, then used four of the same relievers to pick up starter Hayden Birdsong after he’d been pulled in the fifth inning of the win Wednesday.

Giants vs. Cubs Preview

All pitching for the second time in the series, Luke Jackson, Erik Miller, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval blanked the Cubs on three hits over the final 4 1/3 innings after Birdsong was removed in a 3-3 tie.

In a one-run game, the San Francisco bullpen was involved in a pair of rally-killing plays that aided the cause. Jackson picked Christopher Morel off first base after he had led off the sixth with a walk. Tyler Rogers caught Ian Happ leaning the wrong way off second with two on and two outs in the eighth, nailing the runner at third to end the threat.

Having lamented his team’s inability to make such plays earlier in the season, Giants manager Bob Melvin came away from the win Wednesday hoping his guys have turned a defensive corner.

“Those were huge,” Melvin said. “We’re trying to get better at it. Recently it’s been a struggle for us, those extra bases and easy bases. So to get a couple (outs) today, both were big.”

Jordan Hicks (4-4, 3.24) is scheduled to start for the Giants on Thursday and hopes to give his bullpen a break. Hicks was one of just two healthy starting pitchers on the San Francisco roster until Birdsong was promoted from Triple-A on Wednesday to make his major league debut.

Hicks threw five shutout innings when the Giants opened the series at Chicago last Monday with a 7-6 win. It improved his lifetime numbers against the Cubs to 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 19 games (18 relief appearances).

The right-hander wasn’t nearly as sharp in his last start when he lost 9-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, allowing five runs in four innings.

Seeking to avoid their second five-game losing streak of the season, the Cubs are expected to counter with left-hander Shota Imanaga (7-2, 2.96).

Similar to Hicks, the 30-year-old rookie is hoping to put a poor effort in the rear-view mirror. He was torched for 10 runs in three-plus innings last Friday against the New York Mets.

Imanaga said he was experimenting with pacing himself early instead of pouring everything into each inning.

“It’s more so lowering the output, lowering the intensity, so throughout the game, I can maintain it,” Imanaga said of his decreased fastball velocity against the Mets. “And I would say moving forward, I just need to make an adjustment on how I do that.”

Imanaga has never faced the Giants.

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco Giants

  • Monday, June 24th – Thursday, June 27th – vs. Chicago Cubs
  • Friday, June 28th – Sunday, June 30th – vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Tuesday, July 2nd – Thursday, July 4th – @ Atlanta Braves
  • Friday, July 5th – Sunday, July 7th – @ Cleveland Guardians
  • Tuesday, July 9th – Thursday, July 11th – vs. Toronto Blue Jays

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