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Giants Catcher Chris Stewart Familiar With Tigers' Jose Valverde

Most of the attention on the San Francisco Giants' ninth-inning outburst in Friday's 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers was focused on Pablo Sandoval's ground-rule double that gave the Giants the lead.

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(The two bases-loaded walks that the Tigers allowed to pad that lead also deserve some attention. As does Brian Wilson's jug-smashing dugout tantrum in the bottom of the inning.)

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But the Giants' three-run ninth began with a leadoff double by catcher Chris Stewart off Jose Valverde. Stewart went on to score the go-ahead run on Sandoval's double three batters later. Though he had never faced Valverde before, Stewart admitted after the game that he may have had something on Valverde.

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From the San Jose Mercury News:

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"I caught him in winter ball," Stewart said. "I knew his antics and what he’s all about."

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Catching a pitcher and knowing his tendencies would seem to give a batter an advantage at the plate. It would be interesting to hear more on what Stewart may have known was coming, based on their prior experience together.

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According to Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News, Stewart and Valverde played for La Romana in the Dominican League. No word on when that was, however.

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