Giants Rally, Ride Sandoval’s Hot Bat to Thrilling Win Over D-Backs


April 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) celebrates with Hunter Pence (8) after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have gone through a bit of a rough patch lately, but Pablo Sandoval hasn’t done too poorly.

Sandoval has racked up an incredible 11 hits in his last four games (18 at-bats), raising his batting average from .276 to .333. Sandoval came up with the biggest hit of the night in the ninth inning, when he took a low, outside hanger and crushed it into left field for a no-doubt home run.

San Francisco hadn’t scored all game, but Sandoval’s bomb made the lack of offense mean nothing at the end of the day. Angel Pagan singled into right field to start the ninth, and he stole second while Marco Scutaro was batting. Closer J.J. Putz came in after Pagan singled off of Trevor Cahill, who surrendered one run in eight-plus remarkable innings.

Scutaro struck out, but Sandoval hit a towering drive into right field for a no-doubt home run. His home run allowed San Francisco to take its first lead of the night, as no runs were scored until the eighth inning. Light-hitting Josh Wilson hit a home run off of Santiago Casilla in the eighth, but San Francisco recovered.

Sandy Rosario made his first appearance with the Giants and earned his first win with the team in the process. Rosario allowed a ground ball up the middle by Martin Prado, but Brandon Crawford made a nice play to retire Prado by a half-step. Sandoval made a stellar run-saving play in the bottom of the third, but that was all the help Madison Bumgarner needed.

Bumgarner continued his red-hot April by twirling another gem. The southpaw threw seven scoreless innings and induced lots of weak contact by avoiding big mistakes and keeping the ball down in the zone, which was key in Bumgarner’s dissection of Arizona’s offense.

While Bumgarner didn’t earn a win for his efforts, he lowered his ERA to 1.55. Cahill dropped his ERA from 3.00 to 2.61, but it wasn’t enough for Arizona. Both teams finish the month of April at 15-12, 1.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies (who trail the Los Angeles Dodgers right now).

Buster Posey’s 10-game hitting streak ended, as he went 0-for-3 with a walk. However, Posey still finished April with a stellar .388 on-base percentage (OBP) and a decent .280 batting average, a mark he is likely to build on in May. Pagan finished a solid opening month off with two hits and a run, while Marco Scutaro also singled.

The Giants can sweep with Tim Lincecum, who also put together some noteworthy performances in April, on the hill tomorrow against Brandon McCarthy, who pitched for the Oakland A’s in 2012. The Giants finally have things going their way after a tough stretch, and it’s all thanks to the bat of Sandoval and the arm of Bumgarner.