Bruce Bochy has had a long wait for his 1,500th career win. He finally got it on Tuesday night, and he got it in an odd fashion.
The San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in the second game of a doubleheader. The game took place at AT&T Park, but it was technically a road game for the orange and black-clad team. The game was making up for a rained-out game in Cincinnati on July 4, so the Reds wore their home jerseys and batted second.
It didn’t make a difference, though.
Barry Zito was unspectacular, but he kept the Giants in the game with 4.2 acceptable innings. Santiago Casilla earned his fourth career win, one that keeps the 46-54 Giants in the NL West race at 6.5 games back. Casilla pitched 1.1 innings in relief for the Giants, and he was one of five pitchers to come in out of the bullpen.
Jake Dunning helped the Giants escape a jam in the fifth, Jose Mijares registered two outs in the sixth, Casilla registered a strikeout to get the Giants out of a sixth-inning jam and pitched a scoreless seventh inning, Javier Lopez picked up two crucial eighth-inning outs, and Sergio Romo earned his 24th save of the season.
Romo struck out Brandon Phillips to end the eighth inning, and he struck out Devin Mesoraco to end the game and finish off his second consecutive four-out save. Romo has been great this year, but he hasn’t had many games to close lately.
A solid offensive game gave him a save opportunity, though. Pablo Sandoval drove in two with a double, Hunter Pence hit an RBI single, Gregor Blanco hit a sacrifice fly and Brandon Belt knocked in a run on a groundout. The run support gave Zito, whose ERA is now a horrendous 4.92, a nice cushion, one he would need to help the Giants hold off the Reds.
The Giants, which are 1-5 against the Reds this season, will finish off their four-game series tomorrow. If everything goes right, they will escape with a win, take their series against the Chicago Cubs and end up buying instead of selling at the 2013 MLB trade deadline.
However, with the way the Giants are playing, that isn’t too likely.