Nearly a year after being traded from the Giants to the Astros, Dubon emerged as a huge thorn in his former club’s side, going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs to hold Houston to a 7-3 victory in Monday night’s series opener at Minute Maid Park.
DuPont, who held the lead and started at second base in place of an injured Jose Altuve, singled, stole second and scored on Jose Abreu’s RBI single to put the Astros on the board in the first inning and then hit a leadoff single off Ross. chopping in the fifth.
He capped off his night with a go-ahead double from Sean Hill in the seventh inning, kicking off the fifth inning that clinched the Giants’ fourth straight loss (11-17).
“It was a really good feeling, honestly,” Dupont said. “The thing I like about everything is watching the guys behind me. They know what it means to me to beat those guys, and they were right behind me.
“I wasn’t treated the right way there. Coming here and being a family here and being able to perform the way I do now, the human side of me is coming out.”
A native of Honduras, Dupont came to the United States as a foreign exchange student and attended Capital Christian High School in Sacramento, where he became a huge Giants fan. He fulfilled his childhood dream by eventually landing with his favorite team, which he acquired from the Brewers in exchange for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black at the 2019 trade deadline.
The versatile Dubón endeared himself to the Giants fan base with his infectious smile and energy, and he emerged as a valuable contributor due to his ability to jump between center field and center field. However, he fell behind Cerro Estrada on the depth chart after a tough 2021 campaign and entered last year with no options.
With a roster crisis imminent this past May, the Giants opted to stick with Estrada and sign Dupont to the Astros in exchange for catcher Michael Baberski, who appeared in just five games for San Francisco before being designated for assignment.
The trade continues to work largely well for both sides. 333 batting average over 27 games this year. DuPont, meanwhile, won a World Series ring with the Astros last season and has thrived while pitching for Altuve this year, hitting a franchise record with a 20-game winning streak in April.
“I think everyone in this situation wants to do a really good job,” said Jock Pederson, who hit a two-round shot in the third. “I know he’s playing great, and I’m really happy for him. I enjoy him as a friend. It sucks that he was against us.”
“But he really thrives to be an everyday player. It’s great to see. He obviously didn’t get many chances here, so I’m sure there’s some built-up frustration he’s had, and it’s turning into fuel, I guess I can tell. I think you should tip your hat to him. He hit us on his own today.”
Dupont’s performance added insult to injury for the Giants, who arrived in Houston still feeling the effects of a tough two-game series in Mexico City over the weekend. Pederson has described the international trip as the hardest he has taken in his 10-year Majors career, citing the long trip, time change, extreme altitude, and heavy traffic that made it difficult for players to recover.
The physical toll was undeniable for the Giants, who placed quarterback Mike Yastrzemski (left hamstring strain) and shortstop Brandon Crawford (right calf strain) on the 10-day injured list on Monday. Crawford was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain after adjusting his calf in the Mexico City series opener on Saturday, but has expressed confidence he’ll be able to return after at least 10 days.
The Giants feared the worst after watching Yastrzemski limping off the field after attempting a dunk Sunday, but felt some relief after an MRI exam showed a Grade 1 hamstring strain. San Francisco called up Brett Weasley and Cal Stephenson from Triple A Sacramento in a pair of opposing moves, but the loss of Crawford and Yastrzemski would significantly weaken the club at quarterback in the coming weeks.
Given their injuries, the Giants could use a player like Dupont badly. The 28-year-old super utility man feels otherwise.
“Thank God, they didn’t,” Dupont said. “I’m good here. This is my family, and I enjoy every moment of this.”