The San Francisco Giants have now won five of their last six games, moving to within 4.5 games of the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who they narrowly beat on Saturday, 4-3.
Narrowly, as in there was drama.
After Matt Cain pitched five innings on 102 pitches, manager Bruce Bochy needed a grand total of seven relievers to halt a Diamondbacks comeback. In the process, Jeremy Affeldt left to injury and Sandy Rosario’s fingers on his pitching hand were clipped by a ground ball up the middle.
The ninth inning also caused some injury concern when a scorched ground ball back up the middle ticked off Sergio Romo, but it was his glove that absorbed the contact.
Of the seven relievers Bochy used, Romo was the only one to issue a run. Paul Goldschmidt reached on an infield single to lead off the ninth, and he eventually scored on Martin Prado’s bloop single, making the score 4-3.
Cain didn’t have his best stuff. He surrendered four hits and two runs on four strikeouts and four walks.
He allowed a run in the fifth inning, which wasn’t entirely his fault. With runners on first and second, one out, he induced a double play grounder, but Tony Abreu, filling in for Brandon Crawford, threw the relay throw into the stands. That allowed the runner to score, slicing the Giants’ 2-1 lead in half.
Cain’s other blemish came in the sixth, when he yielded back-to-back singles. He was then replaced with George Kontos, who allowed the Diamondbacks to score their second run on Martin Prado’s RBI single.
Buster Posey doubled the Giants run output with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Josh Collmenter floated a changeup letter-high to Posey, who launched it over the center field wall. Andres Torres reached on a single a two batters earlier.
The Giants mixed and matched until the ninth inning, when Romo, despite allowing a run, struck out Cody Ross to secure San Francisco’s win.