Pagan caps rally with rarest of walkoffs
AT&T PARK — It’s hard enough for the Giants to beat the Rockies. It’s even tougher when the opposition includes the umpires.
Despite two bad calls against them, the Giants capped a four-run comeback with a two-run inside-the-park home run by Angel Pagan in the 10th inning to beat Colorado, 6-5.
It’s the seventh walk-off win of the season and Pagan says this was the most exciting one:
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan
Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay
“We’ve been doing a lot of good comebacks with five, six runs, and that’s fun. That means that we’re really fighting, we’re grinding every at-bat and we’re not giving up so that’s good.”
It was the first time the Giants won a game on an inside-the-park home run since Aug. 24, 1931 by Hall of Famer Bill Terry when the team played at the Polo Grounds in New York.
In the top of the 10th, Sunnyvale’s Troy Tulowitzki homered to left off Sergio Romo to give the Rockies the lead.
Down 5-4, Brandon Crawford led off the bottom of the frame with a walk. With one out and Crawford on second after a sacrifice bunt by Guillermo Quiroz, Pagan hit a drive off Rafael Betancourt to the seventh archway in right-center.
The ball bounced into center field eluding Dexter Fowler. Pagan raced around the bases, but rounding third he barely had enough energy left to slide belly first into home plate.
In the post-game celebration, Pagan raised both arms into the air near the backstop as the scrum of teammates enveloped him.
Crawford admitted a loss would have had lingering effects:
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford
Video: CSN Bay Area
“It would have been a one-run game if we didn’t come back so it would have hurt but like we’ve done all year, if you keep fighting and keep battling, you come out with a win.”
Earlier, as the Giants worked to erase a four-run deficit, home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez ruled incorrectly on two key plays, fueling the debate that more instant replay is needed in Major League Baseball.
In the seventh, trailing 4-3, Buster Posey singled to right center. With one out, Belt walked. Andres Torres doubled to left, scoring Posey to tie the game.
Crawford grounded to second, and D.J. LeMahieu threw to home plate to get Belt who was incorrectly called out by Marquez. Replays showed Belt’s foot slid across home plate as he was tagged by catcher Yorvit Torrealba.
The game remain tied when pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias flied out to center.
In the eighth, Marco Scutaro singled to left. Pablo Sandoval — in the lineup but batting an illness — hit a bloop single to left center. Trying to get something started, Scutaro gambled by trying to advance to third base.
Scutaro was called out on the throw from left fielder Gonzalez to third baseman Nolan Arenando by home plate umpire Marquez.
Marquez had the best view of the play as he ran up the third base line, while third base umpire Ted Barrett watched Gonzalez make the throw in the outfield.
Again, replay showed Scutaro was never tagged by Arenando, but there was no reason for Scutaro to be running towards third with only one out on a bloop single. Third base coach Tim Flannery was incensed and manager Bruce Bochy came to his rescue only to get himself ejected for arguing the call.
After a thrilling win though, the blown calls were nearly forgotten about and Bochy chalked it up to human error:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
Video: CSN Bay Area
“You’re going to have calls you don’t agree with or may not be correct. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it really but they’re human and they’re trying to get them right but still it’s such a competitive situation especially in a game like this and you just hope to overcome them and that’s what they did.”
This game started out nearly identical to Friday’s loss as the Giants trailed 4-0 after four innings. Adding to an already somber atmosphere were concession workers picketing outside AT&T Park, not something fans normally see when attending a sporting event.
Dexter Fowler led off the game with double to center before Gonzalez launched a Barry Zito curveball into McCovey Cove for an early 2-0 Rockies lead.
In the fourth, Colorado added to their lead with an RBI double from Michael Cuddyer and a run-scoring single by Jordan Pacheco.
Posey doubled to deep center in the bottom of the sixth, missing a home run by about ten inches as the ball caromed off the top of the wall. Pence followed with a double to right to end a 24-inning scoreless streak against Colorado.
Reliever Josh Outman was brought in to face lefties Belt, Gregor Blanco, and Brandon Crawford.
Belt hit a bloop off the tip of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s glove for an infield single. Blanco walked before Crawford delivered a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.
Adam Ottovino came in to face Brett Pill, on deck to pinch-hit for Zito. Instead, Bochy countered with lefty Nick Noonan, who walked to reload the bases. Pagan popped out before Scutaro drew a walk, bringing home Belt to make the score 3-2.
The homestand finale concludes Sunday with Matt Cain (3-2, 5.12) opposed by Rockies’ Jon Garland (3-5, 5.19). First pitch at 1:05 p.m.
The last time a team won a game with a walk-off inside-the-park home run was Tampa Bay’s Rey Sanchez beating Colorado on June 11, 2004. … Pagan’s inside-the-park HR was the fifth in AT&T Park history and first since Conor Gillaspie on Sep. 27, 2011 also vs. Colorado. … Bochy has been ejected twice this season. … Gonzalez has homered in three straight games for the third time in his career. He is the 27th opponent and first Rockies player to hit a splash-hit homer into McCovey Cove.