Jarrett Parker drove in two runs, including the game-winner in the 10th inning, to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday night.
Before Parker’s late heroics, Saturday was a day of reunions for the San Francisco Giants.
But the reunions hardly stopped there, as the Giants announced earlier Saturday the purchase of Pablo Sandoval’s Triple-A contract, marking the 30-year-old’s anticipated return to AT&T Park after struggling through nearly two seasons with Boston.
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After fans got their vocal cords warmed up singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch, Sandoval turned back the hands of time, smacking a double into the left-field gap to spark a Giants rally, just like he did often with his first stint with the team.
Bochy spoke about what it is like having him back on the team:
“Pablo’s double did a good job waking up the club, it kind of woke us up because we were dead in the water. You know when you see Pablo it was good times and he hasn’t changed. Still Pablo. Playing with passion and energy that we all talked about when he was here.”
Sandoval addressed what he wants his role to be on the team going forward:
“I come everyday to win games. I try to bring good vibes to my teammates. Even if we had a bad game, I’ll tell them good game. That’s my goal.”
Sandoval’s double opened the flood gates. The next at bat, he was doubled in by Parker for the Giants’ first run of the game. Then, a Hunter Pence two-run home run brought San Francisco within a run at 4-3.
Pence’s home run was just what the doctor has been prescribing, and was the first Giants homer in more than 250 at-bats against the Arizona pitching staff at AT&T Park.
San Francisco wasn’t done rallying just yet. In the bottom of the eighth, Kelby Tomlinson and Brandon Crawford singled, bringing up Buster Posey as a pinch hitter for Sandoval with runners at first and third with no outs. Posey would hit into a double play, but that was good enough to score Tomlinson to tie it at 4-4.
The game remained tied until the 10th, inning when Span led off with a double. Tomlinson was intentionally walked, which led to Crawford hitting into a double play. Posey then walked, setting the stage for Parker to hit the walk-off single for the 5-4 win.
After a first pitch delayed nearly 10 minutes after the Giants pre-game, the Diamondbacks were not in the mood for the festivities as they jumped on the Giants right out the gate. Starter Chris Stratton struggled with his command, loading the bases with two first inning walks and a pair of doubles.
If not for a nice catch by Denard Span — where he fully extended to make the grab — and a baserunning error, Arizona would have tallied more than just 2 runs in the opening frame.
Stratton settled down in the next three innings, where he went scoreless and only gave up one hit and another walk.
But Stratton gave up a leadoff single to opposing pitcher Taijuan Walker to start the fifth inning, and a single by David Peralta who got thrown out trying to go to second but still advanced Walker to third.
The next batter was AJ Pollock who hit a slow roller to third causing Sandoval to charge in hard and throw the ball over Ryder Jones’ glove at first and allowing Walker to score. Sandoval was charged with the error.
Stratton loaded the bases again with two more walks but was able to escape with just the one run on the throwing error.
His night ended when he was pinch-hit for by Carlos Moncrief to close out the Giants’ fifth. Stratton, like many other Giants starters, was strung out to dry with no run support. Despite four walks, he gave the team a chance to win and didn’t pitch that bad.
David Peralta handed Arizona its final run of the game when he padded their lead to put them up 4-0 in the sixth inning with a single to center field, scoring Jeff Mathis.