SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 10: Jakob Junis #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the top of the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on June 10, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
A game against the Dodgers that was going swimmingly well for the San Francisco Giants lost a little luster when third baseman Evan Longoria and starter Jakob Junis left with hamstring injuries.
Junis’ left leg buckled as he was delivering a pitch in the sixth inning of San Francisco’s 7-2 victory Friday, and he crumpled on the mound. When he got up, he gestured toward the back of his knee. He left the game, limping, after allowing Los Angeles two runs in five-plus innings, and the Giants announced that he has a hamstring strain.
Junis (4-1) has been the Giants’ top starter for more than a month, with a 2.63 ERA in 10 appearances, eight of them starts. If he has to go on the injured list, as seems likely with a strain, he’d join two other Giants starters, Alex Cobb and Anthony DeSclafani. Manager Gabe Kapler called an IL stint for Junis “a real possibility,” but the team will know more Saturday after he gets an MRI.
“To pitch well against a team like that tonight and for that to happen at the very back end of an outing, it’s pretty frustrating, I’m not going to lie,” Junis said. “I’m hoping for the best and hopefully don’t have to miss much time. We’ll see what happens.”
Should Junis land on the IL, the Giants potentially could finesse things without the need for calling up another starter because Sam Long, the likely starter in Saturday’s bullpen game, might be able to go again the next time Junis’ spot comes up, Wednesday against the Royals, depending on how many innings he throws against the Dodgers. The Giants have an offday Thursday and Cobb (neck) is eligible to come off the IL a week from Sunday, with Long then filling in for Junis. DeSclafani (ankle) also is eligible to come off the IL a week from Sunday.
Longoria, who missed the first month-plus of the season after finger surgery, doubled in a run and scored in the second inning; he felt his left hamstring tighten up on that play and he’s considered day-to-day.
The injuries put a little bit of a damper on the proceedings, especially considering the Giants’ strong work against the division leaders, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. San Francisco scored twice in the second, with Brandon Crawford whapping a single to center to score Longoria and give the Giants a lead they never relinquished.
Darin Ruf lasered a homer out to left off Walker Buehler in the fourth, with a launch angle of just 23 degrees but hit 106.1 mph; most homers are in the 25-45 degree range. He added another in the eighth off David Price. That one, to dead center, had a 30-degree launch angle and 102.9 mph exit velocity.
“It’s been a tough, tough couple of weeks,” Ruf said. “To go out and perform like that in a big game when things haven’t gone great for me this season is special.”
“He’s obviously playing with a pretty heavy heart right now,” Longoria said. “Great game for him, hopefully that allows him to kind of relax a little bit. He’s been great for us for as long as he’s been here, and when he’s going well, he has the potential to carry us.”
In the fifth, the Giants added three more, with Curt Casali reaching on an infield single and pinch hitter Austin Slater hitting a comebacker that lefty Justin Bruihl couldn’t handle. Bruihl slipped trying to field the ball, then threw wildly, allowing Casali to reach third and Slater second. After a two-out intentional walk to Wilmer Flores, Joc Pederson knocked a single to left that eluded first baseman Freddie Freeman and sent in both runners. Ruf followed with an RBI single to right center.
Junis allowed a run in the second when Justin Turner singled and Chris Taylor doubled him in, and another in the fifth on Gavin Lux’s solo homer. Junis walked one, making it seven starts in a row with no more than two walks, tied for the fourth longest such streak for a pitcher joining the Giants since 2005.
It was Junis’ first career appearance against the Dodgers — he said he’s never even been a spectator for a Giants-Dodgers game, and he got a kick out of the lively sellout (39,701) crowd, which featured a hefty L.A. presence.
Los Angeles will have Clayton Kershaw coming off the IL after missing more than a month with a back injury, and Julio Urias will go on Sunday with an extra day of rest. The Giants will have a bullpen game Saturday, with Sam Long likely to get the start.
source: San Francisco Chronicle