There was plenty of late-game drama on Stars Wars day at AT&T, and the force was definitely with Angel Pagan, whose 11th inning walk-off single off the bench led the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Reliever Javier Lopez (W, 3-2, 1.78 ERA) earned the win as the Giants the split with the Snakes in the four-game series.
Despite an early lead, San Francisco (64-79) allowed Arizona (72-70) to tie the game in the eighth inning and send it into extras. Manager Bruce Bochy said of the dramatic comeback win:
“It’s a game that, if it gets away from you and you lose, it’s disheartening. … There’s a sense of relief, and we had a lot of great things happen out there. … It’s nice having a bench like that.”
One of those great things was the performance of starter Madison Bumgarner, who on his A-game again. Bumgarner allowed only four hits and no runs with nine strikeouts over six innings pitched.
The southpaw did, however, come out of the game after only throwing 89 pitches. Bochy explained that he is looking to not overwork the starting rotation through the rest of the month:
“These guys carried a pretty good workload. Not just this year but last year. So, we want to cover them a little bit. They’ve done a great job.”
Bumgarner notched the first five strikeouts in a row through the first two innings, getting the meat of Arizona’s batting order to chase the stuff he was dealing to Hector Sanchez behind the dish.
Not that Diamondbacks’ lefty Wade Miley wasn’t having a decent outing himself, one-hitting the Giants through the first three innings.
The Giants changed that in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a leadoff walk from Tony Abreu. Buster Posey followed up with a liner into left field for a double that moved Abreu to third.
After a bad called strike three on Hunter Pence’s at-bat, Hector Sanchez smacked an RBI single into shallow right to bring Abreu home and put San Francisco on the board 1-0.
On Juan Perez’s at bat, Miley threw a wild pitch that eluded catcher Miguel Montero, giving Posey time to run home from third base and put the Giants up 2-0 before the fourth inning was over.
Santiago Casilla spoiled the Giants lead in the top of the eighth, allowing Arizona to tie the game up 2-2. In a surprise move by Bochy, closer Sergio Romo came to the mound for the one-pitch third out to end the eighth inning before the Diamondbacks could do any more damage.
Bochy commented to bringing Romo into the game in the eighth:
“At that point you’re trying to save the game and he hasn’t pitched in a while. And the game’s on the line with a good hitter up there, and I knew I could get four outs with him because he was fresh.”
Romo stayed in the game for the ninth inning, and the Giants bench posed a threat in the bottom of the inning. But they were unable to score any runs despite advancing Gregor Blanco to third base, sending the game into extra innings.
Sanchez led the Giants eleventh-inning rally with a leadoff single, which Gregor Blanco followed up with a single of his own.
With runners on first and second, Angel Pagan lined a single into left field to bring the winning run home, and of course empty the Giants dugout as the team mauled Pagan as he rounded second base.
The Giants homestand continues Monday with the first of a three game set against the Colorado Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Today’s walk-off win marked the Giants 10th walk-off victory of the season. … Bumgarner has not earned a winning decision in his last seven starts. His longest stretch of his career without earning a winning decision in a single season is eight consecutive starts from April 5-May 13, 2011. … Angel Pagan recorded his sixth career walk-off hit, third of the season. … Hector Sanchez went 3-for-5 with an RBI and is now hitting .360 (18-for-50) with three homers and 16 RBIs in his last 19 games. … Buster Posey finished 2-for-5 and now has reached base safely in his past five games, batting .476 (10-for-21). … Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson picked up his fourth ejection of the season in the 10th inning.