Hector Sanchez hit the sixth homer of the day—his second of the game—for the San Francisco Giants, a grand slam in the top of the 11th inning, and the Giants hung on for a wild 12-10 victory Wednesday to salvage the final game of a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.
The Giants (12-10) came in having hit just .178 in their last seven games, going 2-5 while scoring only 12 runs and leaving 44 men on base.
San Francisco coughed up an 8-7 lead in the eighth on a day when the ball was flying all over the thin Rocky Mountain air, as the teams combined for nine home runs in the game.
The last time the Giants hit six home runs in a game was last Sept. 4 at Petco Park in San Diego, when they beat the Padres 13-5. Their team record for home runs in a game is eight, set against the Milwaukee Braves on April 30, 1961.
Chad Bettis (0-1) came on relief for the Rockies (12-11) to start the 11th inning and gave up a single to Hunter Pence and walked Brandon Belt. Juan Perez bunted the runners over and Bettis intentionally walked Joaquin Arias to load the bases. Sanchez, starting at catcher for Buster Posey in a day game after a night game, ground out a 10-pitch at bat, fouling off four pitches before finally getting a fastball that he turned around to center field for his second home run of the day, and the season, and a 12-8 Giants lead.
Sergio Romo came on to protect a four-run lead, but gave up a leadoff single to Troy Tulowitzki and a homer to Justin Morneau before settling down. Drew Stubbs had a one-out single, but Romo got Brandon Barnes to bounce into a game-ending double play.
Jean Machi did what he’s done all season, be in the right place at the right time to pick up a relief win. Machi (4-0) faced just one batter to end the bottom of the 10th.
Colorado got off to a quick start against starter Matt Cain, scoring two in the first and three more in the second.
Tulowitzki cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to put the Rockies up 2-0. The Giants countered in the top of the second when Michael Morse went the opposite way for his fourth homer of the season to lead off the inning.
The Rockies got three in the second on an RBI groundout by Charlie Blackmon and an error on Belt, who missed a pickoff throw from Cain that allowed D.J. LeMahieu to score from third. Tulowitzki added a two-out RBI single.
San Francisco evened the score in the top of the third against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, with Brandon Hicks leading off with his second homer of the season. Cain lined a single to right, Pence bounced a ball up the middle for a single and Morse crushed his second homer of the day—this one a three-run shot—to tie the game.
Manager Bruce Bochy’s day ended in the top of the fourth, when he was ejected after arguing a called third strike on Hicks that led to an inning-ending double play. With a 3-2 count, Brandon Crawford broke for second and Hicks took a pitch he thought was low for ball four. It was called strike three, however, and Crawford—who pulled up thinking the pitch was a ball—was tagged out easily to complete the double play and end the inning.
“It’s frustrating,” Bochy told MLB.com. “That’s a big call. We got first and second there. Get the pitcher up, get him out of the way. Obviously, I didn’t think the pitch was close. It’s even more frustrating when you’re up here watching [the replay]. I’ll leave it at that.”
Blackmon homered in the bottom of the fourth to put Colorado back on top 6-5.
The Giants took their first lead in the seventh. Lefty Rex Brothers relieved Chatwood and issued a one-out walk to Pence. Belt followed with his seventh home run of the year to right field and a 7-6 San Francisco lead.
Cain started the seven, but walked Blackmon and gave up an RBI double to Nolan Arenado. After walking Tulowitzki, Cain was pulled. He gave the Giants six-plus gutty innings, but surrendered seven runs on 10 hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Jeremy Affeldt got the Giants out of trouble in the seventh, walking one and striking out two.
Sanchez hit his first homer off reliever Matt Belisle to lead off the eighth, giving San Francisco an 8-7 lead.
But Santiago Casilla couldn’t hold the lead. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, moved up to second on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson and went to third on a balk by Casilla. Blackmon rolled a ball to second base that scored LeMahieu to tie the game at 8-8.
Casilla worked the eighth and ninth, allowing a run on three hits with a walk. Javier Lopez got out the first two batters in the 10th before giving way to Machi. Romo gave up two runs on three hits but closed out the game in a non-save situation.
The Giants banged out a season-high 14 hits on the day. Pence was 3-for-4, Hicks went 3-for-6 and Morse, Sanchez and Cain had two hits apiece. Their previous high this season was 12 hits, at Arizona in the opener on March 31 and again on April 15 against the Dodgers.
San Francisco finished their road trip 2-4 and will be off on Thursday before opening their first interleague series of the year at AT&T on Friday when the Cleveland Indians come to AT&T Park for the first time since June 2011. Tim Hudson (2-1, 2.40) is scheduled to start for the Giants and right-hander Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.31 ERA) is set to go for Cleveland for the 7:15 p.m. tilt.
Tags: San Francisco Giants