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Jung Hoo Lee, Jordan Hicks fuel win vs. Padres – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

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Jung Hoo Lee, Jordan Hicks fuel win vs. Padres – NBC Sports Bay Area & California


SAN DIEGO — Jordan Hicks had made 212 appearances in the big leagues entering Saturday night’s Giants debut, but because just about all of them came as a let-it-eat reliever, he had recorded 15 outs just once. That performance came in 2022 against the Giants, and it was one piece of evidence that gave them faith in committing to Hicks as a starter.�

In his first start for San Francisco, and his ninth overall in the big leagues, Hicks certainly looked the part.

The offseason addition pitched five shutout innings in a 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, allowing just three hits, walking one and striking out six. By any measure, it was his best start in the big leagues, and perhaps a tantalizing taste of what’s to come.�

Hicks ran into trouble just once, when three of the first four Padres singled in the fourth. He caught a couple of breaks, with third base coach Tim Leiper failing to test LaMonte Wade Jr.’s arm in right and a line drive to short finding Nick Ahmed’s glove. But he also struck out Tyler Wade with a nasty splitter, a pitch that looked positively Gausman-esque on Saturday.�

The Giants began the season with some uncertainty in their rotation as they waited for Blake Snell and Alex Cobb to return, but they’ve gotten about all they could ask for from those who are here. Logan Webb, Kyle Harrison and Hicks combined to allow just four runs in 17 innings the first time through.�

Here are three more things to know from the Giants’ second consecutive win over the Padres.

Lee-ving The Yard

Jung Hoo Lee kicked off a huge eighth inning with a soaring solo shot to right field, his first in the big leagues. The blast left the bat at 104 mph and came off a left-handed pitcher, no less. Lee now has a hit in each of his first three big league games and has four RBI overall.

The Giants were nowhere close to done, though.�

Lefty Tom Cosgrove stayed in the game after the Lee blast and allowed another run before loading the bases for Michael Conforto, who has looked like his old New York Mets self during this season-opening series. Conforto unloaded on an elevated sinker, hitting his second career grand slam and second homer of the season.�

For three straight days here, the Giants have worked good at-bats and piled up hard-hit balls. They had 17 batted balls at 95 mph or above on Friday, something they did just twice all of last season. On Saturday, they had 14 more.�

Rare Air

Hicks touched 98 mph with his sinker in the first inning and he was able to dial it up just about whenever he needed to over five innings. When he ran into trouble in the fourth, he hit 99 mph on three pitches.

Hicks threw 17 pitches at 98 mph or above, joining Tim Lincecum and Carlos Rodón as the only Giants starters to do it double-digit times in a start in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008). The three also are the only Giants starters to hit 99 mph at least four times in an outing.�

Hicks, who once cracked 105 mph as a St. Louis Cardinals reliever, topped out at 99.5 on Saturday. That was tied for the second-hardest pitch thrown by a Giants starter since Statcast began doing more precise tracking in 2015, trailing only a 100.2 mph fastball thrown by Rodón two years ago.�

The New Murph

Tom Murphy mostly will start against left-handed starters, but with four righties on the other side during this series, Bob Melvin threw him in there on Saturday to give Patrick Bailey a breather before Sunday’s day game. Murphy had an RBI double and walk,�

The double left the bat at 109.3 mph, which has been a bit of a theme for a guy who, pound for pound, might be the strongest player on the roster. Murphy hit two homers earlier this week in Oakland and they left the bat at 112 and 106 mph.�

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