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SF Giants’ hockey-style line changes a staple of Farhan Zaidi, Gabe Kapler’s approach

SF Giants’ hockey-style line changes a staple of Farhan Zaidi, Gabe Kapler’s approach

When the Giants overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Reds 7-6 on Tuesday at Oracle Park, their side of the box score looked more like a spring training game than a regular season matchup.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler used all six position players on his bench, subbing out his starting second baseman, left fielder, first baseman and center fielder in the middle innings and also sending up two other pinch-hitters to the plate.

“We kind of made a little line change there,” Kapler explained postgame. “Mid-game as you guys saw, our right-handed bats came through in a pretty big way.”

The Giants made up an early 4-0 deficit against Reds right-hander Luis Castillo with a pair of first-inning home runs, but took control of the game by creating favorable matchups against the arms who emerged from the Cincinnati bullpen. Two southpaws, Sean Doolittle and Cionel Pérez, were charged with earned runs as Kapler brought right-handed hitters such as Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores and Austin Slater off the bench to gain platoon advantages.

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