Susac Lifts Giants Past Dodgers In 13th Inning


The San Francisco Giants came into tonight’s game 4.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, L.A.’s magic number sat at three to start the game, so any combination of Dodgers wins and Giants losses up to three would mean a National League West Division crown for L.A.

This evening’s matchup featured Dan Haren against Jake Peavy in what turned out to be a great duel between great pitchers.

The Giants got off to a great start when Gregor Blanco hit a lead-off solo shot to open the game. Little did he and the rest of the Giants know though, things would not get any easier. In fact, Haren would not allow another hit in the rest of his seven-inning bid, though San Francisco did score another run. Haren also had seven total strikeouts, five of which were with batters looking.

That second run came of the unearned variety after Blanco hit a ball to left-center that was misplayed by a combination of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig and hustled his way to third base. On the next batter, with Joe Panik at bat, Blanco scored on a safety squeeze putting the San Francisco Giants ahead by two runs after three innings.

Peavy matched Haren inning for inning allowing just two earned runs on four hits in seven innings. His worst inning came in the bottom of the fifth where he allowed a solo home run to Carl Crawford, which was only the third he has allowed all season. The Dodgers would go on to score another run after a sacrifice bunt by Haren followed by a sacrifice fly by Dee Gordon which tied the game up at two.

The San Francisco Giants then threatened in the top of the eight with a Panik single and a Buster Posey walk versus Brian Wilson, but the former Giants closer was able to get Pablo Sandoval to ground out after getting behind in the count 3-0.

After Sergio Romo pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the ninth San Francisco threatened once again in the top ninth but left Hunter Pence stranded at third and Brandon Crawford at second as Travis Ishikawa struck out to end their half of the ninth.

Again the Giants threatened in the top of the 11th, yet this time Yasiel Puig threw Brandon Belt out at home on Crawford’s single up the middle. Belt was out by about a step and a half on a perfect throw from the young phenom to keep his Dodgers in the game.

Finally, in the top of the 13th inning, the Giants made the Dodgers pay. Rookie Andrew Susac drove in Belt from second on a base hit to left to put San Francisco ahead 3-2. Immediately after him Blanco struck again as he doubled in both Crawford and Susac to make it a 5-2 Giants lead.

In to bottom-half of the inning Hunter Strickland came into the game to close things out, and that he did by striking out two of the three batters he faced. With the win, the Dodgers have to wait another day to reduce their magic number which still sits at three.