Giants’ four-run fifth inning topples Indians

AT&T PARK — Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach McAllister dealt a one-hit masterpiece through four innings.

Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

Then the Giants ripped the wheels off, putting up four runs in the fifth inning en route to a 5-3 victory Saturday afternoon.

Morse led off the big fifth inning with a single to dull the razor-sharp game McAllister (L, 3-1) had displayed to that point.

After Pablo Sandoval fouled out, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Hicks reached base before Gregor Blanco pinch-hit and singled to right, driving in Morse and rattling the cage of the Indians ace.

Hunter Pence then pulled through with a two-out, two-run single to snag a 4-3 lead for the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy was impressed with the way his team battled back in the inning:

“That one inning just got contagious. The quality [at bats] there started with Morse and they all found a way to get on …That big inning is what won the game for us.”

Buster Posey tacked on another run in the sixth inning with a solo home run deep into the right-field stands. The home run was Posey’s fifth of the season.

Tim Lincecum (1-1) was a non-factor in Saturday’s contest. He threw 98 pitches over 4-2/3 innings and was bailed out of a bases loaded jam by Juan Gutierrez (W, 1-1).

Lincecum struggled to find the strike zone, but two of the three runs scored during his tenure were unearned.

The Giants bullpen was solid again today. They surrendered no runs, no hits, a walk and a hit by pitch in 4-1/3 innings. Juan Gutierrez notched his first win of the season in relief.

Bochy commended the continued success of his bullpen after the game:

“Our bullpen’s done a great job, especially in this ballpark. That’s what wins games for you, especially in tight ball games…That’s a great lineup we’re going against and our bullpen did a great job.”

Sergio Romo notched his sixth save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning to finish the game.

Saturday’s loss was the first McAllister’s suffered all year.

Sandoval had another 0-for-3 day Saturday to drop his batting average from .171 to .165. He was replaced by Joaquin Arias for defensive purposes in the seventh inning.

The Giants will look to sweep the series Sunday when Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 7.71 ERA) takes on righty Danny Salazar (0-3, 7.85 ERA) in the series finale. Game time is slated for 1:05 p.m.

Notes

Tim Lincecum has given up at least one first-inning run in three of his five starts this season. He has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in three of five starts. … Buster Posey’s home run in the sixth inning poured water over an 0-for-16 drought he experienced leading off innings this year. He was hit by a pitch later in the game. … The Giants bullpen drove down its microscopic home ERA to .046 with 4-1/3 scoreless innings of relief.


Follow @SFBay and @Pacific_Theme on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the San Francisco Giants.