Sanchez’s Walk-Off Hit Propels Giants Past Marlins


The San Francisco Giants finally snapped the Miami Marlins’ nine-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

The Giants need 11 innings to snap the streak, though. Gregor Blanco opened the bottom of the 11th with an infield single. Marco Scutaro bunted Blanco over, and Buster Posey beat out an infield ground ball to put runners on first and third, one out.

Jun 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Hector Sanchez (29) celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning RBI single against the Miami Marlins in the eleventh inning at AT&T Park.

Ryan Weeb elected to intentionally walk Hunter Pence, who prevented the Marlins from scoring in the top of the 11th with a diving catch on Placido Polanco’s shallow line drive.

With the bases loaded, Hector Sanchez, pinch-hitting for Sandy Rosario, blooped a single down the left field line that kicked past the left fielder to drive in the winning run. Blanco, the runner on third, probably would’ve scored even if the left fielder cleanly fielded the ball.

The Giants wouldn’t call it a must-win game, but it wasn’t far from receiving that label.

San Francisco trailed 1-0 after Ed Lucas launched Zito’s loopy curveball into the left field bleachers.

The Giants wasted two consecutive singles to open up the home half of the first inning. Gregor Blanco and Marco Scutaro both went to the opposite field against Jacob Turner.

But Blanco’s mental error on Buster Posey’s line drive to center field immediately dampened San Francisco’s hopes of responding to Lucas’ solo shot. Hunter Pence drove a ball onto the right center field warning track. Despite a series of steps, Giancarlo Stanton recorded the third out.

Zito pitched around a single and a double in the second inning, and the southpaw settled in from there. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning. Turner broke Zito’s rhythm with an infield single that slowly rolled into no man’s land.

Turner followed a similar pattern.

Juan Perez led off the fifth with a double that barely hopped over third base. Nick Noonan’s groundout to second enabled Perez to advance to third. Perez came within inches of scoring on Zito’s safety squeeze, but a quick pickup and crisp toss to the catcher by Turner, who pounced off the mound to field the bunt, got Perez sliding head first.

Miami’s solid defense squandered the Giants’ chance to get on the board until Blanco tied the game with a two-out RBI double. Blanco’s blast hopped up into the stands in Triples Alley, but the umpires determined that Zito, the runner, would’ve scored anyway.

A depleted Giants bullpen was tasked with more work in the later innings.

The struggling Jeremy Affeldt retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth. Lucas singled with two outs, and manager Bruce Bochy turned to Sergio Romo, who retired four straight batters spanning from the eighth to the ninth.

Polanco opened the 10th with a single off Romo, who struck out Jeff Mathis before Javier Lopez was summoned. Lopez surrendered a single, but Sandy Rosario struck out two straight batters to escape the threat.