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Bryant homers in Giants debut, San Francisco tops Houston

August 2, 2021 GMT
San Francisco Giants' Kris Bryant is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
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San Francisco Giants' Kris Bryant is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
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San Francisco Giants' Kris Bryant is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kris Bryant homered in his Giants debut, a two-out solo shot in the third inning, and San Francisco beat the Houston Astros 5-3 on Sunday.

Darin Ruf had three hits including a home run and two RBIs. Brandon Crawford and Donovan Solano both added two hits. The Giants won two of three in the interleague matchup of division leaders and have the best record in the majors at 66-39.

“I can’t say enough good things about this first day,” Bryant said. “I feel giddy. It felt like Christmas morning honestly.”

Acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs for two minor league prospects just minutes before Friday’s deadline, Bryant was greeted by chants of “KB! KB! KB!” when he trotted onto the field for pregame warmups and received a standing ovation before his first at-bat. The four-time All-Star was cheered again after striking out swinging.

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Those cheers got louder after Bryant crushed an 0-1 pitch from Luis García (7-6) into the left field stands for his 19th home run this season.

“The first homer’s weird,” Bryant said. “You don’t know what teams do when you come to celebrate in the dugout so I was kind of lost a little bit,”

The Giants said they expected Bryant to hit a home run. After all, his former teammates in Chicago who were also traded – Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo – homered in their first games with their new clubs.

“We were going to send him back if he didn’t homer himself,” joked Ruf, who homered in the fifth. “Luckily we get to keep him. He’s going to be very, very valuable to our team going forward.”

After Mike Yastrzemski doubled and Buster Posey walked in the third, Crawford and Ruf followed with RBI singles to put the Giants ahead 3-2.

It wasn’t a perfect debut for Bryant, who started at third base. His throwing error on Martín Maldonado’s grounder down the line in the fifth gave the Astros a runner in scoring position with no outs. Logan Webb retired the next three batters to work out of the jam.

Webb (5-3) allowed two runs in six innings to stay unbeaten since May 5.

“He’s been really responsive to the moment,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “What we’re seeing consistently now is that his stuff plays and it plays against some of the best hitters out there.”

Dominic Leone and Tyler Rogers both retired three batters. Jake McGee pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run home run for Houston. García allowed eight hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings.

“All of their hits and runs came with two outs,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “When you get those two-out hits, that’s usually the team that wins.”

ASTROS FAIL TO SIGN TWO PICKS

The Astros failed to sign their fourth-round pick Alex Ulloa and their 20th-round selection Jackson Linn. Both players opted to attend college instead. The deadline for signing drafted players was Sunday.

QUOTABLE

“It’s a bat that really lengthens our group and makes our bench better. It makes it more difficult to get through the top of our lineup. He’s going to be good for us.” – Kapler on the addition of Bryant.

ROSTER MOVE

To make room for Bryant, the Giants optioned IF/OF Jason Vosler to Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Michael Brantley left the game with right ankle soreness. … Houston will be without closer Ryan Pressly, who was placed on the paternity list to be with his wife for the birth of their son. … RHP Bryan Abreu was activated from the taxi squad.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (8-2, 3.23 ERA) faces the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Tuesday. McCullers has five wins in his last seven starts.

Giants: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (10-5, 3.10) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Arizona on Monday. DeSclafani is winless in his last three starts and failed to make it out of the third inning against the Dodgers on July 28.

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