Christian Arroyo didn’t like what he saw from Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood. Neither did most of his teammates as the Dodgers’ southpaw kept the Giants’ bats completely at bay for five full innings.
Recently recalled centerfielder Drew Stubbs broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the sixth inning, but it was Arroyo’s second Major League hit and first Major League home run that was the first real highlights of an exciting 4-3, 10-inning win over the Dodgers. Hunter Pence knocked in the winning run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
Arroyo’s home run went nearly 400 feet to left field but wasn’t a no-doubter. Arroyo didn’t know he could clap his hands in celebration until he neared second base.
“Off the bat I thought it was a double, so I was kind of sprinting around the bases,” Arroyo said. “I’ve never really been a home run guy, so as I rounded first base I kind of looked up, saw the outfielder had stopped, saw the umpire waving, thought it was maybe a good idea to slow down. I rounded second and tried to look in the crowd and take it all in. It was a pretty special moment.”
The home run was Arroyo’s fourth of the season, including the three he hit in Triple-A Sacramento. After hitting just three total in 474 at-bats in Double-A Richmond last season, the power surge has added a new dimension to Arroyo’s game.
Arroyo’s minor league career best for home runs in a season is 9, hit in High-A San Jose in 2015.
“It’s just me being more patient and not trying to hit pitches I can’t hit over the fence. I’ve been really trying to get pitches up and do as much damage as I can,” Arroyo said. “I worked hard in the offseason getting my body right and making some adjustments with my swing. But the biggest thing has just been being more consistent with my approach and just being confident and seeing pitches I can drive.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has shown plenty of confidence in the 21-year-old through his first few games in the MLB. After going 0 for 4 in his debut from the seven-spot on Monday, Bochy bumped Arroyo up to second on Tuesday and then the coveted five-spot Wednesday, where he was protected by the bat of Buster Posey.
“He has hit everywhere. With (Brandon) Crawford being gone and being our regular five-hitter, and a left hander going, I want him batting behind Buster,” Bochy said. “Sometimes he’ll be in the two-hole, five-hole, six-hole, maybe the three-hole...It’s good to have these guys comfortable hitting wherever.”
(home team in CAPS)
SAN FRANCISCO 4 LA Dodgers 3 (10 innings)
LA ANGELS 8 Oakland 5
San Diego 8 ARIZONA 5
Washington 11 COLORADO 4
TEXAS 14 Minnesota 3
Atlanta 8 NY METS 2
NY Yankees 3 BOSTON 1
Seattle 8 DETROIT 0
PITTSBURGH 6 Chicago Cubs 5
PHILADELPHIA 7 Miami 4
BALTIMORE 5 Tampa Bay 4 (11 innings)
CLEVELAND 7 Houston 6
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 5 Kansas City 2
MILWAUKEE 9 Cincinnati 4
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