Giants sink Padres on Pagan walkoff hit
AT&T PARK — During a fireworks display following Friday night’s San Francisco Giants game, Ike and Tina Turner’s “Save The Last Dance For Me” poured over the ballpark loud speakers.
Heck, Tina might as well have been singing about Angel Pagan’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Giants their Orange Friday 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Madison Bumgarner would tally eleven strikeouts in six innings and reliever Santiago Casilla would pick up the win, while the offense would rally at the final hour to break a 2-2 tie that had stood since the sixth inning.
Adding to the nail-biter nature of the game was the home team coming off a road trip in which they’d been swept by the Brewers. Manager Bruce Bochy said of getting the home win, and of some of its key players:
“That’s a great win for us. Especially after, you know, you get swept in Milwaukee. … And Angel came through for us. Bum did a terrific job. Had great stuff tonight.”
Bumgarner entered Friday night’s game tied for the NL lead in wins by a starting pitcher, with three. He also had momentum against the Padres, having gone 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts against San Diego in 2012.
The 23-year-old was throwing gas early on, but San Diego would get things started with a lead-off double by Chris Denorfia to open up the top of the first. Buster Posey would do a belly flop in foul territory to catch a pop up by Everth Cabrera, only to watch the ball bounce off the web of his glove.
Posey’s missed out cost the Giants almost immediately. San Diego would score on a sacrifice fly by Chase Headley that would bring Denorfia home, giving the Padres the 1-0 lead.
The G-men would answer in their own half of the first inning. Angel Pagan stroked a lead-off single to right field, followed by a walk for Marco Scutaro and an out at first by Pablo Sandoval that would advance the runners.
Then Posey, fighting a full count, would fly out to center, bringing Pagan home and tying the game at 1-1.
Burngarner would send seven consecutive batters back to the visiting bench while the Giants’ offense fought to put more runs on the board. After Posey drew a walk in the bottom of the third, Hunter Pence would hit a line drive over Headley’s head — and out-stretched glove — for a two-out double that would drive home Posey.
The next few innings would be all MadBum, who would strike out eleven batters in six innings. It would be the ninth time in his career that he would notch 10-plus strikeouts in a start.
Bochy said of the young starter’s collective outing:
“He pitched great. I mean, what a great job. … Can’t say enough about the job he did. … Had great stuff tonight.”
Headley would rain on No. 40’s parade with a solo shot in the top of the sixth that barely missed the tip of Gregor Blanco’s glove in left-center. The crowd of 41,551 would erupt into a sea of boos, but it would do nothing to change the call. The home run tied the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco would get back-to-back singles in what would appear to be the start of a rally for San Francisco.
Alas, Bumgarner would come up to the plate to and bunt the ball right to Volquez for a San Diego double play. Bochy talked post-game about the pitcher’s bunt:
“Actually Bum did a great job there … He did what you are supposed to do, he smoked the ball. And there’s a lot of holes out there when you run a play like that. He just happened to hit it right at him. And that’s was bad luck.”
The Giants would be unable to get a man past second base in the inning, and Bumgarner’s night would come to a close.
Jose Mijares and George Kontos would take care of business during their half innings, yet the Giants offense would have difficulty heating up, and the teams stayed tied as the seagulls started to circle and the ninth inning approached.
Santiago Casilla took the mound in the eighth but showed his dominance in the top of the ninth with two crucial strikeouts.
A hit to left-center could have busted the game wide open for the Padres, but the quick glove of Brandon Crawford followed by a graceful pirouette would allow him to get the ball to Belt on time for the second out.
Back-to-back singles by Blanco and Andres Torres in the bottom of the ninth would light a fire under San Francisco’s offense.
With one out, a 2-0 count and Torres on first, Luke Gregerson’s pitch would hit the sweet spot of Pagan’s bat and send the ball shooting into right field.
Torres’ speed was enough to get him home safe, and give the rest of the team plenty of time to empty the dugout and dog pile on top of Pagan as he rounded second.
Right-hander Tim Lincecum leads the Giants into battle Saturday to continue a weekend series against the Padres.