What we learned as Winn dazzles again in Giants' victory over Mets

What we learned as Winn dazzles again in Giants’ victory over Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Conforto hit his team-leading fifth home run, Nick Ahmed drove in a pair of runs from the bottom of the lineup and the Giants thumped the New York Mets 5-2 in the opener of a three-game series at Oracle Park on Monday night.

The Giants’ offense came through to provide starting pitcher Keaton Winn (2-3) with some rare run support after scoring just seven runs total over his first four starts of the season. Winn pitched six solid innings and allowed only one runner past first base when Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso launched a solo home run leading off the fifth. Alonso is third in the majors with seven home runs.

Ryan Walker and Tyler Rogers each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Things got dicey in the ninth after closer Camilo Doval walked the leadoff batter, committed a fielding error, bounced a wild pitch that led to the Mets’ second run then issued another walk before DJ Stewart grounded out to end it.

Conforto, Ahmed and Jorge Soler had two hits apiece. The Giants have won four of their last six.

Having won four of six, San Francisco is in one of its best stretches of the young season and pulled within two games of the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Winn provided an obvious spark with yet another solid outing, but it was the Giants’ offense that highlighted the day.

Jorge Soler got things rolling in the second inning when he reached on an infield single that Mets’ second baseman Jeff McNeil kicked with his right foot while trying to move into position to make a play.

After Conforto followed with a one-out bloop single to left and Thairo Estrada walked to load the bases, Ahmed hit a two-run single that put San Francisco ahead for good.

Chapman’s two-run double in the third pushed the Giants lead to 4-0.

Conforto’s leadoff bomb in the sixth made it 5-0.

Here are the takeaways from Monday’s game:

Winn Slings It

The 26-year-old Winn really has solidified the back end of the Giants’ rotation this season, and Monday was another example of why.

Winn allowed four hits while striking out six. It was a nearly duplicate stat line that the right-hander put together in his previous outing against the Miami Marlins last Friday.

The only difference was that Winn threw 81 pitches against the Marlins. He needed 87 to get it done against the Mets.

It’s the first time that Winn has won consecutive starts since getting the W in each of his first three career starts last season.

Slater Wings It

The Giants avoided a potential early jam in the first inning when the Mets’ Starling Marte laid down a bunt. Pitcher Keaton Winn fielded the ball cleanly but threw wide of first base.

The ball sailed into right field, and Marte alertly kept running and tried to get to second base. However, San Francisco right fielder Austin Slater raced in and grabbed the ball then fired it to Ahmed to easily get Marte, who wasn’t even close to the bag by the time the ball got there.

That was key, because instead of having a runner on second base with one out and Francisco Lindor at the plate, the Mets’ No. 3 hitter went to bat with the bases empty and struck out swinging for the final out of the inning.

Ahmed Stings It

It appeared Ahmed had delivered one of the game’s biggest moments when he lined a bases-loaded pitch from Mets’ starter Jose Quintana to left field in the second inning for a double.

Umpires changed the call to a foul ball, and replays confirmed that the ball hit the wall a few inches to the left of the foul marker. Undaunted, Ahmed returned to the plate and hit a sharp grounder up the middle that deflected off the glove of Mets’ shortstop Lindor and rolled into center field.

Soler scored and Conforto followed him home and made it 2-0 with a headfirst slide across the plate.

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