Apr 3, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants batter Angel Pagan hits a three run home run in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants Take Opening Series At Arizona With 5-Run Rally In 8th


 

Angel Pagan belted a three-run homer to cap a five-run eighth inning Thursday and the San Francisco Giants came from behind to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The Giants (3-1) took three of four in their opening series against Arizona (1-5).

Trailing 5-3 entering the top of the eighth, Hunter Pence got the inning started with a one-out walk off reliever Will Harris and Hector Sanchez roped a double into right that brought Pence all the way around to cut the deficit to 5-4. After Brandon Crawford flew out, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson opted to intentionally walk pinch-hitter Buster Posey. That brought up another pinch-hitter, Michael Morse, who tied the game with a single up the middle.

Pagan then drilled a blast to right-center field, his first homer of the season, to put the Giants up 8-5.

Santiago Casilla retired five hitters in the eighth and ninth, fanning two, and Javier Lopez came on to get the last out as the Diamondbacks couldn’t muster any sort of late rally.

The Giants took an early lead when Brandon Belt hit his third homer in four games, taking new Arizona pitcher Bronson Arroyo deep to right in the top of the first. Because small sample sizes can be fun, Belt is now on pace to hit 122 home runs this season.

But the Diamondbacks got back at Tim Lincecum, making his first start of the season for the Giants, in the bottom of the first. Aaron Hill lined a single to center and Paul Goldschmidt followed with his first homer of the season, a towering shot to right-center field.

Goldschmidt is now 11-for-21 with six homers in his career against Lincecum, who might want to consider rolling the ball to the plate in the future.

The Giants tied it up in the fourth when Pablo Sandoval led off the inning with a double, went to third on a base hit by Pence and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Sanchez.

San Francisco chased Arroyo in the fifth. Pagan led off with a double to right and moved to third on Gregor Blanco’s sacrifice. With Belt due up, Gibson went to left-hander Oliver Perez, who got Belt and Sandoval to pop up to end the inning.

Arroyo allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in his Diamondbacks debut, striking out three. He came into the game with a 2.69 career ERA and 1.299 WHIP against the Giants in 14 career appearances, 13 starts, had has thrown two shutouts against them. It’s his lowest ERA against any team against whom he has made more than 10 starts.

Arizona grabbed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Hill led off with a single and with one out, he stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout. Mark Trumbo connected for his second homer of the series to straightaway center field to put the Diamondbacks up 4-2.

Lincecum worked six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out seven.

Brandon Hicks closed the gap to 4-3 with a pinch-hit home run—his first as a Giant—off Josh Collmenter with one out in the seventh.

But Arizona got the run back in the bottom of the inning. David Huff came on to make his debut with the Giants and after a walk and two groundouts, Jean Machi came on to face the right-handed swinging Hill, who lined a double to left to score Gerardo Parra.

But the Giants rallied in the eighth to get the win.

Huff was charged with a run on a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Jean Machi (2-0) got the win, allowing Hill’s double while recording one out. Harris (0-1) was tagged with the loss for Arizona, as he was charged with all five runs in the eighth.

Pagan had a big day, going 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, as the Giants banged out nine hits. Pagan was 8-for-19 in the series, Posey was 5-for-12 and Bely was 6-for-18 with his three homers. On the other side, Pence was 1-for-16 and Sandoval went 3-for-16.

The Giants now head on to Los Angeles for their first series of the year with the Dodgers. Ryan Vogelsong is scheduled to make his first start Friday afternoon for the Giants against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0). Game time is 1:30 p.m.

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Tags: San Francisco Giants