AT&T PARK — It was ugly to watch the Giants blow a 5-0 lead, but beating the Dodgers in their final at-bat never gets old for their fans.
Pinch-hitter Guillermo Quiroz launched a game-winning home run to the left field bleachers as the Giants beat the Dodgers 10-9 in the 10th inning.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was glad to see Quiroz end the game with one swing:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay
“We’re trying to end that game. We’re running out of pitching and we’re hoping he finds a way to get on base. I wasn’t expecting a home run off a tough closer like that. Q hasn’t hit in nine or ten days. I don’t know how long it’s been and for him to do that is pretty impressive. Good for him. He works his tail off and I don’t think any of us expected him to hit a home run so that’s the ending of a wild up and down game, an emotional game…a roller coaster both teams were on and they did a great job of coming back but so did we.”
Quiroz batted for reliever Santiago Casilla and was the final bench player used by the Giants. The result was the first career game-winning hit for the veteran journeyman and his teammates jubilantly greeting him at home plate.
Giants pinch-hitter Guillermo Quiroz
Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay
“I was just trying to hit something hard, give us a chance to win the ballgame. Situations late in the game like that, I learned not too long ago you’ve got to take a shot and swing hard to see what happens.”
The Dodgers are one of the most overpaid and under performing teams in the majors. For one night, they nearly came back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat — and then lost anyway.
The Giants couldn’t hold an early five-run lead, coughing up seven runs in the 5th and at one point trailed 8-6.
San Francisco batted around in the first inning and scored three runs. Buster Posey hit a two-run double and Gregor Blanco drove in a run with an infield single.
The Dodgers made a game of it in the 5th inning. With one out, and Carl Crawford on first base, Jerry Hairston Jr. doubled to deep right center putting runners at second and third.
Matt Kemp drove in two runs with a single to center before Andre Ethier flied out to center. Ellis walked, then Skip Schumaker singled to left scoring Kemp.
Former Giant Juan Uribe ripped a single to left bringing home Ellis. With five runs in, Vogelsong was pulled for reliever Jean Machi.
Dee Gordon, just recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, lined Machis first pitch to right center. Hunter Pence misplayed the ball and it got by him, allowing Gordon to streak around the bases sliding into third with a two-run triple.
Pinch hitter Nick Punto doubled to right, scoring Gordon. The inning finally ended after the Dodgers scored seven runs and sent 12 men to the plate.
The Giants loaded the bases in the 6th inning. Posey led off the frame with a walk. Pence singled to left and pinch hitter Joaquin Arias was hit by a pitch trying to sacrifice the runners.
Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt both struck out swinging, but the Giants managed to score the tying run anyway because Dodger reliever Paco Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch to Andres Torres, allowing Posey to score.
The Dodgers retook the lead in the 7th. Gordon reached on a leadoff walk before being sacrificed to second then stealing third. On a grounder to first, Gordon broke for the plate and just beat the relay throw with a headfirst slide.
But the Giants answered back. Francisco Peguero doubled to left center and he scored on a sac-fly from Pablo Sandoval.
In the 9th, Gordon singled to left with one out and stole second but was stranded.
The Giants loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th and it looked so promising with Posey at the plate and only one out. But Posey grounded into an inning ending double play on the first pitch of the at-bat, a high fastball from Brandon League.
Ryan Vogelsong got shelled for nine hits and seven runs in only 4-2/3 innings. He would not have lost the game but blew an opportunity to get his second win of 2013.
As for the Dodgers, they have 26 hits in two games and scored ten runs. Their reward? Two straight one-run losses at the hands of the Giants.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly still tried to take the positives out of it:
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly
Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay
“It’s as good as you can feel about a loss, you feel pretty good about your club after a night like this. With everything that’s going on we’ve still got firepower to score some runs and put some runs on the board.”
The series finale is the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game of the week. Matt Cain (0-2, 6.49) still in search of his first win this season opposed by Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 3.35). First pitch at 5:10 p.m.
Peguero was 1-for-2 in his 2013 debut. He was recalled Friday from Triple-A Fresno where he batted .415 (27-for-65) with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 16 games for the Grizzlies. … Quiroz is 4-for-6 as a pinch-hitter this season. … This is the first time in 80 games the Giants beat the Dodgers when LA scored at least nine runs. San Francisco’s last win was Sep. 23, 1970 (14-10). … This is the first time since July 24-25, 2003 (Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz) that the Giants won consecutive games with game-ending home runs. … CF Angel Pagan left the game with a right hamstring strain and is listed as day-to-day. … The Dodgers have left 24 runners on base in the first two games of the series.