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Conforto, Villar Go Back-to-Back, Matos Hits Tiebreaking Blast as Giants Beat Cubs
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By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 27, 2024

Michael Conforto and David Villar hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning, Luis Matos hit a tiebreaking solo shot in the fifth as the Giants beat the Cubs 4-3 on Wednesday night. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Mitchell)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Conforto and David Villar hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning, Luis Matos hit a tiebreaking solo shot in the fifth, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Seiya Suzuki homered for Chicago, which lost its fourth in a row and fell to 3-13 in its last 16 road games.

Giants starter Hayden Birdsong was called up from Triple-A Sacramento for his major league debut. He allowed three runs and six hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

“Super exciting, obviously,” the 22-year-old Birdsong said. “My brain doesn’t really know if it’s excitement or nervousness, but we’re just ‘go with the flow and try to throw strikes and see what happens.’ It’s all I was thinking.”

Luke Jackson (4-1) followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his fourth straight win and Camilo Doval pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances.

Hayden Wesneski, making his first start since May 8 for Chicago, permitted three runs on two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in four innings.

Pete Crow-Armstrong gave the Cubs an early lead with an RBI single in the second.

Up Next

Cubs LHP Shota Imanaga (7-2, 2.96 ERA) will start Thursday opposite Giants RHP Jordan Hicks (4-4, 3.24).

Conforto’s Response and Villar’s Follow-Up

Conforto responded with a two-run homer in the bottom half. Villar followed with his first homer since June 19, 2023.

The Giants got home runs from their No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters.

“All of those guys have power,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We spoke earlier in the year about a deep lineup and feeling like you have a chance to score (any) inning, especially with the power at the bottom.”

Miguel Amaya trimmed the Giants’ lead to 3-2 with an RBI single in the fourth, scoring Crow-Armstrong all the way from first.

Suzuki tied it in the fifth with his ninth home run of the season.

Matos took Drew Smyly (2-5) deep in the bottom half to put San Francisco back in front.

“It feels good to hit a home run,” Matos said through a translator. “I went in there and I was looking for something to hit. He threw me a sinker. I let it go. But then he threw me the curveball and that’s what I hit.”

Chicago put runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth inning, but Tyler Rogers picked off Ian Happ trying to steal third.

“It’s a risk,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re trying to get two guys in scoring position, and it just didn’t work. But base stealing is a risk. We took a risk. It didn’t work.”

Chicago stranded seven runners and made three outs on the bases.

Trainer’s Room

Cubs: LHP Jordan Wicks (strained right oblique) is in the early stages of his recovery and won’t return before the All-Star break, according to Counsell.

Giants: LHP Robbie Ray will continue his recovery from Tommy John surgery with a rehab start at Single-A San Jose on Friday. He pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday after making four appearances in the Arizona Rookie League. “Robbie’s still on a pretty good pace (to return) right around that All-Star break (or) right after,” Melvin said. … LHP Blake Snell (strained left groin) will make his second rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday. … RHP Mason Black was optioned to Triple-A and LHP Raymond Burgos was designated for assignment.

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