Chase Field was on its feet with two strikes and the eighth inning about to wrap up. For the Giants, the tying run was at the plate in the form of first baseman Brandon Belt, but things were looking bleak for the Giants.
In April and throughout 2012, the Giants dealt with this kind of situation. So it shouldn’t have been too surprising when Belt silenced Chase Field and sparked an eruption from the Giants bench with one mighty swing of the bat.
Belt took a high, inside pitch and crushed it to right field, giving the Giants a 7-6 lead with the huge hit. Because it wasn’t a save situation, Heath Bell came in to pitch the ninth, and he gave up two more runs. The Giants finished with nine runs, sole possession of second place and a crucial sweep of the D-Backs.
Angel Pagan hit the second pitch of the game, a belt-high hanger, to right field for a leadoff home run. However, Cliff Pennington answered by hitting a three-run bomb in the second to give Arizona a lead, one it wouldn’t relinquish until the eighth. Tim Lincecum gave up five runs in five innings, but he finished with a no-decision.
Brandon McCarthy wasn’t much better, as he surrendered four runs in six innings. Hunter Pence lined an outside fastball to right-center field for an impressive home run in the sixth, but the Giants still weren’t able to claw all the way back. However, Pence and Gregor Blanco got on base in the eighth, and they set the stage for Belt.
And Belt delivered.
Eric Chavez registered three hits for the D-Backs, and he knocked in a run with a double. Paul Goldschmidt singled off of Lincecum in the fifth, but Goldschmidt, who entered the game with five homers and eight hits in 14 at-bats against Lincecum, didn’t destroy Lincecum like he had in previous encounters. The D-Backs finished with a remarkable 15 hits, but they didn’t finish with enough runs.
Pence and Pagan reached base three times each, and both went deep. Pagan walked, got in Bell’s head and scored on a double by Pablo Sandoval in the ninth, who continued a torrid stretch with some quality at-bats and a double. The Giants scored five runs in a span of a mere three outs, and they gained some nice insurance for closer Sergio Romo.
Romo registered his 11th save in 12 chances, working his way out of a single by inducing two weakly-hit outs and striking out A.J. Pollock looking to end the game. The Giants rallied for the third straight game, and they were able to piece together three quality wins.
Now, the Giants are 16-12 and ahead of the D-Backs. The Giants could tie for first if the Rockies lose to the Dodgers, who the Giants will play next. However, the Giants have a day to reflect on a remarkable series, one where the Giants showed ample resiliency and finally got rewarded for it.
Because when you lose five games in a row, three heart-pounding victories will always make you feel good.