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Matt Chapman’s Grand Slam Propels Giants Over Reds

Matt Chapman’s grand slam in the first inning propelled the struggling San Francisco Giants to a much-needed 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

With the Giants entering the game having lost eight of their last 11 and averaging less than three runs over their previous 15 outings, Chapman’s early heroics provided a significant boost. His timely hit against Reds’ starter Nick Lodolo (3-2) set the tone for the game.

“It means a lot,” Chapman remarked. “We’ve been grinding lately, not playing our best baseball. So to be able to jump out early like that was huge. I think we can build off a game like today.”

Chapman stepped up to the plate with two outs and delivered a powerful drive over the bullpen, extending San Francisco’s lead to 4-0. Mason Black, making his home debut, maintained the lead by allowing only one run in 4 1/3 innings, surrendering a solo homer to Elly De La Cruz in the fourth.

“When you can get a lead like that hopefully it takes some pressure off the rest of the guys,” Chapman explained. “Not when you’re up 4-0 you think you’re going to win the game, but it gives you a good cushion.”

The bullpen effectively shut down the Reds’ offense, securing the win and sending Cincinnati to their ninth loss in 10 games.

Taylor Rogers (1-1) entered the game in relief of Black with two runners on in the fifth inning. He escaped the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Stuart Fairchild with the bases loaded, earning the win.

Black received support from outfielder Heliot Ramos, who made several outstanding defensive plays. Ramos threw out two runners from right field attempting to stretch hits into doubles and made a diving catch in left field in the fifth inning.

“Over the course of the year we’re going to make base-running mistakes,” commented manager David Bell. “Today I didn’t consider those mistakes. When the other team makes plays like that, makes perfect throws, you can’t wait around to find out. Today, they got it done.”

Injury updates revealed that Reds’ LHP Alex Young is progressing well in his rehab assignment for a strained back and is expected to pitch again in the minors Sunday.

The series finale on Sunday will feature Cincinnati’s Frankie Montas (2-3, 3.55) against San Francisco’s Kyle Harrison (3-1, 3.20).

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