Giants come back to even series with Philly

AT&T PARK — A four-run rally and an RBI single by Gregor Blanco lifted the San Francisco Giants to one of their most impressive come-from-behind victories of the season Saturday, a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

After trailing 5-1, Blanco’s go-ahead single in the top of the eighth completed the five-run come back as Joe Panik crossed home plate.

Panik’s leadoff triple off Antonio Bastardo (L, 5-7, 4.64 ERA) put him in scoring position as the go-ahead run, and continued the  23-year-old’s hot run. Panik is batting .410 in his last 11 games and .274 on the season.

Manager Bruce Bochy heaped praise on the youngster:

“He won us that ballgame with the triple. He really has a good idea what he’s doing at the plate. It’s all about getting settled in up here with confidence and I think he has that.”

An unlikely rally in the bottom of the sixth completely changed Saturday’s game.

Four early pop-ups with runners in scoring position looked to be the story of another disappointing Giants loss. Instead, a bungled pop-up and an infield single saved the afternoon for San Francisco.

Bochy talked about the importance of the comeback on the heels of a tough loss:

“It’s all about going hard for nine innings and they did that today. Great win particularly after the loss we had last night …There was a number of times we had guys on base and couldn’t get a big hit, but they started getting confidence and threw out some good at bats.”

Posey opened the sixth with a leadoff single before the Phillies shot themselves in the foot, losing track of a Pablo Sandoval infield pop-up that fell harmlessly behind a blinded Ryan Howard.

Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

Michael Morse then stepped up and smacked one of his two doubles into center field, opening floodgates that have been bolted shut as of late.

Morse had a monster game, going 3-for-3 with an RBI, two doubles and a triple.

Said Bochy of his slugger:

“He certainly threw out some great at bats today and last night … He can hit. Hopefully he’s starting to get his timing and we’ll get back to who we are. That’s a team that gets contributions from everybody throughout the lineup.”

Morse’s double ended what had been a memorable performance from Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, who gave up only four hits and one run entering the sixth.

Reliever Mario Hollands entered, walking pinch-hitter Adam Duvall on four pitches and loading the bases with nobody out. Joe Panik followed with a high chopper to reliever, who failed to get the ball out of his glove in time, leading to all runners being safe and the Phillies’ lead being cut to 5-3.

The bad luck for the visitors continued when Gregor Blanco jammed one into shallow left, just out of the reach of shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Again all runners were safe, and the lead was cut to a single run.

Angel Pagan finished the rally with a sacrifice fly, something the Giants failed to do early in the game, tying the contest at five runs apiece.

After posting a 2.59 ERA in his last five starts, starter Tim Hudson got knocked around lasting only four innings while giving up five earned runs and walking three.

But the bullpen backed up their starter and continued their dominance, with Juan Gutierrez, Jean Machi, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt (W, 3-1, 1.99 ERA) holding the Phillies scoreless for the remaining five innings.

Sergio Romo entered for the final two outs, reprising his once-familiar role as closer to earn his 23rd save of the season and first since June 20.

Ryan Howard continued his ownage of Tim Hudson, going 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Howard is now 24-70 (.342) with 7 HR and 20 RBIs against the lefty.

Howard’s two-run single in the fifth ended Hudson’s afternoon.

The Giants didn’t waste time getting on the board with a Hunter Pence solo shot in the bottom of the first. The dinger has become a rarity for the 2014 Giants, who’d hit just three homers in their previous 10 contests before Pence drilled the 2-1 fastball over the bleachers in left-center.

Juan Gutierrez came up huge in the fourth after replacing Hudson, getting the Giants out of a two-on-no-out jam.

The Giants will try to win the series tomorrow when Tim Lincecum (9-8, 4.51 ERA) faces David Buchanan (6-6, 4.40 ERA) in the final game. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.

Notes

The Giants won for just the fourth time this season when trailing by four or more runs. …Tim Hudson threw 4 innings, his second shortest outing this season. … Hunter Pence smashed a solo homer in the first inning, his 16th on the season and first home run at AT&T Park since July 9 vs. OAK. 13 of Pence’s 16 homers this season have been solo shots.


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