Mitch Haniger’s candy-fueled offensive eruption sweet as can be for Giants

Haniger’s offensive eruption foreshadows Giants’ potential originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Mitch Haniger, with the help of a pregame sugar boost, has been tearing it up offensively for the Giants lately.

The veteran outfielder delivered the game-winning two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning of the Giants’ 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at American Family Field.

Haniger’s blast was his second in as many games and capped off a 3-for-4, two-RBI day at the plate.

The veteran outfielder, who signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the Giants this past offseason, began the season on the injured list and struggled mightly upon his return. Hitting as low as .172 on May 16, Haniger has gotten hot, boosting his average to .237 after his three-hit performance on Saturday.

“The key to hitting is making adjustments,” Haniger told Laura Britt, Carlos Ramirez and Rich Aurilia on “Giants Postgame Live.” “With more at-bats, I always feel more comfortable. I’ve been working on some stuff, always working on hitting from the mechanics’ side and the approach side as well. Things are coming together nicely here and hopefully can keep it rolling.”

Haniger is 6-for-12 with two homers, six RBI and one walk in the series against Milwaukee. However, according to rookie infielder Casey Schmitt, there might be one reason in particular why Haniger has had so much success at the plate lately.

“I gave him a little Sour Patch before the game, today and yesterday, and he hit home runs in both games,” Schmitt said. “Just one singular one. I don’t know what flavor it was, but it was a good one.”

Haniger, who is on a strict diet, has a love/hate relationship with the young infielder supplying the candy.

“I get on him for always bringing food into the dugout,” Haniger joked with reporters postgame. “But he gave me Sour Patch yesterday and today, so we’ll keep it going.”

As sweet as Haniger’s recent hot stretch is, Giants manager Gabe Kapler is not the least bit surprised by the 32-year-old’s surge. The Giants’ lineup, when it was fortified with the additions of Haniger and outfielder Michael Conforto in the offseason, finally is starting to show its true potential.

“We’re not going to have the same hitters show up on a daily basis and be the guy that delivers the big blow,” Kapler added. “So when it’s Conforto over a 3-4 game stretch, you know eventually he might need to not be the guy for a couple of days. And when you have a guy like Haniger step up and start to really drive the baseball consistently, it just makes our lineup look really, really deep.”

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The Giants still are missing a few key bats, including outfielder Austin Slater, designated hitter Joc Pederson and, most recently, star second baseman Thairo Estrada, who was placed on the 10-day injured list prior to Saturday’s game.

It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the Giants’ lineup, believe it or not, still could be significantly better. When that day comes, the Giants should be able to compete with just about any team in the league.

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