Zack Wheeler gift-wrapped the Giants a win on Tuesday night, issuing a whopping six free passes, as San Francisco prevailed 8-5.
Wheeler’s string of walks started in the third inning. He walked the white-hot Hunter Pence to start the inning. Pablo Sandoval walked, as did Tony Abreu, after Brandon Crawford flew out. Just when things seemingly couldn’t get any worse, Yusmeiro Petit, the pitcher, also walked, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Angel Pagan, who came a double shy of the cycle, singled home Sandoval, and Gregor Blanco’s grounder scored Abreu.
In the fourth, it was vice versa. Petit, whose command is usually pin-point, walked the first two batters before yielding an RBI double to Wilmer Flores. Matt den Dekker’s RBI single tied the score, and Flores, watching a rundown between first and second base, eventually scored.
Working on a high pitch count, Wheeler issued a lead-off walk to Pagan. He came around to score on Buster Posey’s game-tying groundout to second base.
Pagan completed another leg of the cycle in the seventh, launching a solo blast into the left field bleachers.
The Giants expanded their lead in the eighth. Abreu doubled home a run, and Pagan, in the middle of things again, collected an RBI triple. After eight, San Francisco led 7-4, and Pence’s single in the ninth capped the Giants’ scoring output.
Those extra runs came in handy, as the Mets threatened in the ninth. After throwing just a handful of pitches, Sandy Rosario was removed due to injury. A single by Josh Satin put runners on first and second. Daniel Murphy’s RBI single made the score 8-5. With the bases loaded, Sergio Romo worked around the jam, inducing a pop out and fly out.
Petit, vying for a potential rotation spot in 2014, pitched six innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out just one.