SAN FRANCISCO -- A reduction in strikeouts has meant increased scoring for the Giants. San Francisco entered Sunday's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers on pace to score 705 runs, exceeding last year's total of 570. Making more consistent contact partially explains the Giants' improvement. They began Sunday with the second-fewest strikeouts in the National League -- 945, bettered only by Philadelphia's 921. Hensley Meulens, who has worked with co-hitting coach Joe Lefebvre on sharpening the Giants' approach at the plate, compared the current team favorably to the 2010 squad that captured the World Series. "We're having better at-bats this year than we did during the regular season when we won," Meulens said.
Giants hitters have concentrated more on connecting with the top half of pitches -- "Hitting the ball on a line drive down," Meulens called it -- resulting in topspin that helps batted balls fall safely. "That's instead of trying to hit the ball up, and you get 350-foot fly balls," Meulens said. The Giants remain subpar in scoring at home, where their 3.54 per-game average is the third-lowest figure in the Major Leagues. But they averaged 4.86 runs in their last 14 games at AT&T Park before Sunday, reflecting their progress.