Johnny Cueto took the mound in his absolute element — an enormous, loud crowd backfilling the ballpark seats again eventually for an area rivalry game. “When I looked around I felt specialized,” Cueto said. “Seeing the fans supporting us makes me happy.” And that energy fueled Cueto as he outdueled Sean Manaea, leading the San Francisco Giants over the Oakland Athletics 2-0 within the Bay Bridge Series opener Friday night. “He’s a showman, he loves the spotlight, he loves the large stage,” manager Gabe Kapler said before the sport. “The one thing we all know about Johnny, whenever he goes out there he’s entertaining.” Curt Casali, a last-minute addition in situ of ailing Buster Posey, does his job with little fanfare but it’s plenty meaningful, too. He homered within the seventh to greet A’s reliever, Cam Bedrosian, after speeding up his pregame prep with Cueto. “It figured out,” Casali said.
Kapler appreciated Casali’s poise, noting, “and that home run was huge, it had been an enormous separator for us.” With San Francisco leading the NL West, the Giants welcomed back a full-capacity crowd at Oracle Park for this rivalry series that’s always a top attraction, and therefore the game drew 36,928 fans. The famous Gilroy Garlic Fries stand had a gentle line all night that reached back on the brink of a quarter-mile. And who better to pitch for the Giants on this special day than the dynamic right-hander Cueto (6-3) — always able to have some fun on the mound. He gave up five hits over seven scoreless innings, struck out six, and walked one. Manaea (6-4) struck out seven and walked three, allowed one run on three hits over six innings, and also had a pair of hits.
“I like to hit,” he said. “It’s tons of fun.” He doubled within the third for his first career extra-base hit and therefore the first baserunner against Cueto with two calls at the third. Adding to the instant, Manaea’s helmet flew off as he rounded first with the dugout going crazy in delight. It was Manaea’s second career hit, his other coming in 2018. He then singled within the fifth. The left-hander retired Austin Slater on a 10-pitch at-bat to finish the third. He walked the primary two batters within the sixth and escaped, striking out Donovan Solano to finish the inning. Manaea struck out the side so as within the second for four Ks through two scoreless innings. Brandon Crawford hit an RBI single within the fourth.
“Close game like that one hit finishes up beating you,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t do enough offensively to offer him some support. He pitched great.” Posey was a late scratch due to low back tightness, with Casali called into duty. Jake McGee finished the 2-hour, 23-minute game for his 15th save as San Francisco won for the ninth time in 10 games. The Giants certainly appreciated Cueto’s fast work after they played an almost five-hour game-winning in 13 innings against the Angels on Wednesday in Anaheim.
After going 1-5 against the A’s during the shortened 2020 season, San Francisco improved to 15-6 in June and has either won or split its last nine series. The mayors from each city, Oakland’s Libby Schaaf and London Breed of San Francisco threw out the ceremonial first pitches. Breed threw both arms into the air in triumph after throwing her ball. Athletics: LF Mark Canha, who exited within the third inning Wednesday in Anaheim, went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hip that has some tendinitis. … Ramón Laureano was back in center field after two games as DH and one in the right field versus the Angels to require pressure off a strained right hip that kept him out 17 games. Giants: 1B Brandon Belt was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right knee.
Surgery may be a possibility. “He understands that this is often probably not a 10-day injury and he understands that there’s getting to be a rehab process here and that I imagine that’s difficult,” Kapler said. “… I don’t think he’s during a particularly good space around this but I feel that he also understands that it’s important that he keeps a mindset that he’s getting to help us tons this season which the start parts of this rehab are getting to be important for him to hit the bottom running.” … 3B Evan Longoria (sprained left shoulder) is beginning light baseball activity in Arizona. … RHP Logan Webb (strained pitching shoulder) will pitch a simulated inning Sunday and will begin rehab games next week. … INF Tommy La Stella jammed his throwing thumb in his recovery from a strained left hamstring. X-rays were negative but it’s likely keeping him out a couple of days from playing rehab games with Triple-A Sacramento. The Giants recalled OF LaMonte Wade Jr. from Sacramento to fill Belt’s spot, while Oakland recalled INF Vimael Machín from Triple-A Las Vegas to require Canha’s place.