SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Josh Lester drove in two runs with his first major league hit during his season debut, and Tyler Wells won for the first time in his last four starts as the Baltimore Orioles beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3 on Sunday.
James McCann reached base three times for Baltimore, including his third home run. Adley Rutschman added two hits and Ryan Mountcastle drew a bases-loaded walk to help the Orioles to their 13th series victory of the season. A year ago, Baltimore didn’t win its 13th series until July 13.
“What a cool moment for Josh Lester,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Somebody that’s never been on a top-prospect list. His story is a great one. Grew up in a baseball family, was grinding at Triple-A, he gets a start and a big hit for us. One we haven’t been getting, honestly.”
Blake Sabol hit a two-run homer for the Giants.
A day after being shut out for the second time in five games, the Orioles jumped on starter Anthony DeSclafani early and batted around in the third inning.
Adam Frazier had a sacrifice fly and Austin Hays slashed a two-out RBI single. After Mountcastle’s four-pitch walk forced in another run, Lester drove in two more with a single to center. A third run scored on the play thanks to a throwing error by center fielder Austin Slater, making it 6-0.
A 13th-round draft pick by Detroit in 2015, Lester spent eight seasons and played 795 games in the minors before making his major league debut in a brief stint last year with the Tigers.
With third baseman Gunnar Henderson unavailable due to injury, Lester got the call to start the series finale in San Francisco and made it a memorable one.
“It’s something that I’ve looked forward to for my entire life since I was 5 years old. But for it to come at a big moment in the game with guys on was even better,” Lester said. “Obviously, spending that much time in the minor leagues and kind of grinding your way up, it definitely means a lot to me.”
Wells (4-2) was mostly masterful in winning for the first time since May 13. He had a career-high nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, including two in four of the first five innings. The right-hander allowed four hits and two runs with two walks. He didn’t permit a runner past first base until Sabol’s homer chased the Baltimore starter from the game.
“Me and McCann were on the same page. Anytime that he put down a pitch and he got into the spot that he wanted the pitch, I tried to locate it there,” said Wells, who leads the majors with a 0.85 WHIP. “I wasn’t trying to strike out a lot of guys, I was just trying to hit my spots. Fortunately, it worked out.”
Three relievers combined to get the final 11 outs for the Orioles.
DeSclafani (4-5) allowed five earned runs in three innings during his first career appearance against Baltimore.
The Giants scored once in the eighth and had a runner on first with one out when Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías — who pinch-hit for Lester in the top of the inning — made the defensive play of the game with a lunging, backhand stop of Sabol’s grounder to begin a double play.
Orioles: McCann was examined after being hit by a pitch on his left hand in the third inning but remained in the game.
Giants: LHP Alex Wood (lower back strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 1. In a corresponding move, RHP Tristan Beck was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.
Giants: Manager Gabe Kapler had not announced his rotation for the brief three-game road trip that starts Tuesday in Colorado.