The San Francisco Giants have quickly become accustomed to a game-changing late-inning home run. It’s not something that, well, expected. AT&T Park is considered death valley for power hitters.
Yet, the reverse pattern continued Saturday, as Guillermo Quiroz’s walk-off home run propelled them past the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-9. They’ve now reeled off five straight wins despite some hardly San Francisco Giants-like pitching.
Quiroz, a career minor leaguer, took Brandon League’s 0-1 splitter deep into the left field bleachers.
But the Giants made their 18th win of the season harder then it should’ve been.
After taking a 6-1 lead through four innings thanks to a three-run first inning, a two-run second inning and a one-run fourth inning, the Dodgers took the lead with a seven-run fifth inning against Ryan Vogelsong.
Vogelsong, who entered the evening with a 6.23 ERA, saw that total rise to 7.20 after allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings on Saturday.
The fifth inning has really been Vogelsong’s undoing in 2013. He entered his sixth start of the season with a 10.80 ERA in the fifth inning. Of course, he’s struggled in mostly all innings, but the fifth inning seems to his biggest hurdle thus far.
Consecutive RBI singles from Skip Schumaker and Juan Uribe chased Vogelsong from the game in the fifth. Manager Bruce Bochy removed his starter for Jean Machi, who couldn’t stop the bleeding. He allowed a two-run, two-out triple to Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon. Then, he allowed his first earned run of the season on Nick Punto’s RBI double.
Matt Magill, making his second ever major league start, didn’t have the brightest of evenings, as the Giants jumped on him early and often, which wasn’t even very long. Magill logged a grand total of four outs before manager Don Mattingly had to break in his bullpen.
Buster Posey jumpstarted San Francisco’s scoring attack with a two-run double in the first inning. Gregor Blanco’s infield RBI single charged another run to Magill.
Magill’s struggles with his command allowed Marco Scutaro to score on a wild pitch in the second inning. And then, Blanco, who tallied three RBI in the game, hit a sacrifice fly off reliever J.P. Howell to officially close the book on Magill.
Posey, Friday night’s walk-off hero, got another chance to produce some walk-off magic in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, one out. But the Dodgers, playing Posey up the middle, easily turned a sharp grounder into two outs to force extra innings.