Giants’ Erik Miller aims for strong opening act vs. Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants will turn to their recent staff ace — the bullpen — when they seek a second consecutive win over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

With just three healthy starting pitchers in his rotation, Giants manager Bob Melvin had to use 11 different relievers — two in the role of an opener — in 5-4 and 5-1 wins over the Chicago Cubs at the beginning of the week.

Having seen the two victories mushroom into four of five, Melvin finds himself in the same situation at the end of the week, with bullpen games slated for both Saturday and Sunday.

Fortunately for the Giants, Logan Webb was able to rest all but two of the relievers on Friday by going the first seven innings of a 5-3 win. Chief set-up man Tyler Rogers and closer Camilo Doval threw an inning apiece in a game that might have gone into extra innings if not for a Brett Wisely walk-off home run in the ninth.

Melvin called upon Erik Miller and Randy Rodriguez as his openers against the Cubs. Miller led five relievers to the mound Monday with one inning of shutout ball, before Rodriguez went 2 2/3 innings in front of five calls to the bullpen on Tuesday.

Miller (2-2, 3.79 ERA) will get the start on Saturday. The left-handed rookie has made four appearances against the Dodgers this season, allowing three runs in 2 2/3 innings.

The Giants learned during Friday’s win of the death of Orlando Cepeda, a Hall of Fame member who played for the club from 1958-66. His passing came 10 days after the death of former teammate Willie Mays.

The team will pay tribute to Cepeda on Saturday by adding a “30” patch next to the “24” they have worn on their uniforms in honor of Mays since Tuesday.

Matt Chapman, who homered in Friday’s win, said the spirit of legends like Mays and Cepeda lives on in San Francisco.

“This franchise has a big history,” he said. “When you play for the front of the jersey and you play for the guys next to you, good things happen. This team embodies that. We’re here to play winning baseball and we’re here to represent the Giants well.”

On Saturday, the Dodgers will turn to right-hander Tyler Glasnow (8-5, 2.88), who will be bidding to tie Gavin Stone (9-2) as the top winner on the team.

Glasnow was the winning pitcher in his only previous head-to-head with the Giants this season. He threw six innings, allowing three runs, in a 5-4 home win in April.

For his career, Glasnow is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against San Francisco in four games, including three starts.

One night after Webb, the Giants’ chief innings-eater, threw seven innings, Glasnow will try to build upon having joined Webb in the 100-inning crew this season in a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in his last start on June 22.

“Yeah, it’s awesome,” he said of the early milestone, which already puts him just 20 innings shy of his career high. “That’s kind of the starting pitcher’s job — just go out, try to keep the pitch count low, try to be as efficient as you can and go as long as you can.”

–Field Level Media