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Giants come back, then never look back

On a night the Giants reached 50 million in total attendance at AT&T Park faster than any ballpark, fans cheered their team to a 8-5 victory over the lowly Philadelphia Phillies.

Welcome as it was given their recent drought, the Giants’ Saturday night win was more entertaining than it was impressive.

Just the night before, the Giants logged an AT&T Park record 22 hits in the first game of the series.

Manager Bruce Bochy said:

“I think they just caught their breath. They got their legs back and I’m seeing different swings and different at-bats and they’re a bit more rested.”

Ryan Howard delivered a RBI single for the Phillies off starter Ryan Vogelsong in the first inning, and Brandon Crawford tripled in Brandon Belt to tie the game at 1-1 in the second inning.

Following three scoreless innings, the Phillies in appeared to take control of the game with home runs by Howard and Cody Asche in the sixth inning.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

But the Giants rallied in the bottom of the sixth. It wasn’t eight runs like their explosive fourth-inning rally on Friday, but the Giants batted around for the second game in a row, putting up a five-spot. Angel Pagan doubled to right and brought home two runs, Matt Duffy tripled and had two RBI.  Buster Posey got a RBI single off Luis Garcia (L, 3-4, 3.86 ERA) to put the Giants up 6-4.

For the third game this season, Duffy was one hit — a home run this time — shy of hitting for the cycle. He said:

“A lot of it is an attitude. If you think you can score runs, a lot of times, it puts you in a position to be more positive. And once one guy comes through, the pressure’s off your shoulders a little bit.”

Vogelsong was run after giving up homer-walk-homer in the sixth inning. Josh Osich (W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up his first career win by getting Domonic Brown to line out to left and escape the frame.

The Giants added two more runs in the seventh for insurance. Sergio Romo started the ninth but couldn’t get that last out after giving up an RBI double to Odubel Herrera in a stubborn seven-pitch at-bat. Santiago Casilla got Ben Revere to ground out to end the game to record his 22nd save.

Pagan said:

“We’re going to have ups and downs. We have no control over how many games we’re going to win or lose. The reality is we always go out there and play hard and we have no control over the result. We’re just feeling good right now. Like I’ve said before, we’re just trying to finish this first half strong so we can get ready mentally for the second one.”

Meanwhile, the Phillies are the first team to lose 61 games before the All-Star break since the Houston Astros in 2011.

Howard said:

“These guys are champions for a reason. Champions don’t quit. They get down early and these guys just continue to fight. It’s one of those games where it’s going to be a battle for 27 outs and unfortunately we came up on the short side of things and just got to try and come back tomorrow.”

Sunday it’s Chris Heston (8-5, 3.51 ERA) on the mound for the Giants opposed by the Phillies Chad Billingsley (1-2, 6.67 ERA) First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. First 20,000 fans get a World Champions Cap.

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