The Giants crowned a second walk-off king in mere hours Thursday afternoon, when Justin Maxwell sent a rocket down the third base line in the bottom of the tenth to score Angel Pagan and seal a 3-2 comeback win and a series sweep.
Maxwell’s 10th inning hit was his first game-winner since 2013, then with the Royals. He had been robbed just two innings before of a go-ahead RBI, a bases-loaded liner that second baseman Howie Kendrick grabbed mid-air for the clutch out.
The Giants lineup struggled to get anything going against Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger, but Maxwell said he knew the team had the comeback in them:
“It just shows the fight this team has … It’s great, I can’t wait to get in the plane and celebrate together.”
Airplane celebrations and ‘sweep’ chants echoing through the halls post-game weren’t necessarily expected going into Thursday’s matchup.
Bruce Bochy‘s announcement Wednesday that Ryan Vogelsong would start in place of an injured Jake Peavy created a bit of a stir around China Basin. Why start Vogelsong, who’s given up 14 runs in 10-1/3 innings of work, with a rested Yusmeiro Petit ready and waiting in the wings?
Legitimate concerns, perhaps, but Vogelsong showed his haters up with a solid six-inning, five-strikeout showing.
The righty gave up just two runs on three hits. Both runs came off solo shots from Alex Guerrero, his second of the series, and Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s home run, his sixth on the year, ties him at second in the majors along with Cincinnati’s Joey Votto. The Dodgers held a 2-0 inning for most of the early game.
Vogelsong said the two home run pitches didn’t spawn from mechanical issues:
“Those mistakes were more mental on my part.”
Bochy said Vogelsong’s performance warranted a temporary place in the starting rotation in place of Peavy, next opportunity slated for a start in Los Angeles.
“Thought he threw the ball well … he threw a couple mistakes … He’ll be in (the rotation).”
Brandon Belt, carrying a disappointing .188 BA into today’s game, continued his rivalry-fueled resurrection, extending his hit streak to four games with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
The Giants looked primed for a 2-1 loss entering the bottom of the ninth with a slumping Casey McGehee at the bat. But after earlier hitting into his fifth double play on the season and striking out, McGehee slapped a leadoff single to right field.
With the crowd ready to spring out of their seats, and the dugout waiting to hop over that fence, pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco struck out and Nori Aoki popped out. Joe Panik, last night’s walk off hero, left Crawford hanging for good with a long fly out to left.
Anyone in the market for some free Dodgers-Giants baseball — or anyone just enjoying the day game and sunshine — was in luck.
Angel Pagan lead off the bottom of the 10th with a leadoff single. After stealing base and an odd intentional walk to Belt, Maxwell sealed the deal.
The Giants head to Colorado Friday to begin a ten-game road trip with a 5:40 p.m. start time against the Rockies.
Giants bats look to be heating up slowly but surely. Pagan went 2-for-5 and Panik 2-for-4. … Casey McGehee broke a 12 at-bat hitless streak.