Giants’ midnight run delivers win over Rockies in 14th

Cory Gearrin stepped into the batter’s box in the 14th inning– Gorkys Hernandez waiting to put the midnight game to rest at second–with a perfect 1.000 average. His confidence was high against a sinkerballer in Chad Qualls (L, 1-1, 5.40 ERA). Gearrin told Buster Posey he was feeling good about his chances at walking this thing off:

“When I got up there, the adrenaline kicked in …That’s why you got the results you got there.”

Gearrin (W, 2-2, 1.98 ERA) took three sweet swings and misses, so Denard Span finished the game off himself with a walk-off single.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

Span used the rest of his energy to run away from his elated team, hoping to give him a walk-off hug. He stopped finally in left field; if the walk-off had happened five innings earlier, he’d still be running, he said. Gearrin was first in line, and Span kind hoped the roles would be reversed:

“He looked like he knew what he was doing out there the way he was swinging up there…I was hoping he would win it, honestly.”

Yes, the Giants won again. This time with a 4-3 midnight walk-off against the Colorado Rockies, a team that, entering Tuesday, was 45-0 when leading at the eighth inning this season.

Colorado is now 45-1, and the Giants have won two games in a row.

 

The biggest surprise of the night? The Rockies only scored three runs in 14 innings, all three via one big swing. Mark Reynolds sent a first pitch hanging curveball from Matt Cain up in the night sky and into the left field bleachers for a three-run homer, erasing the Giant’s early 1-0 lead.

They clawed back into it with a Brandon Crawford sac fly — he leads the league now — and an eighth inning, game-tying single from Kelby Tomlinson, pinch hitting for a still hitless Ryder Jones.

Cain dealt six innings, his best start of the month, but the heroes came later, said Bruce Bochy:

“(Cain) held them to three runs and gave us a chance to come back…The only way you win a game like this is effort in the bullpen.”

Steven Okert struck out the side in the seventh. George Kontos kept a scoreless eighth despite a Reynolds double and Mark Melancon pitched a shutdown ninth. Sam Dyson struck out Nolan Arenado in a dominant 1-2/3 innings.

Like in that 17-inning spectacle agains the Reds (where he has his other win), Gearrin took on the late-late-inning workload. Bochy extended his arm through three shutout innings. He allowed just two hits and walked one.

Gearrin’s pristine average and a bench short of an aching Conor Gillaspie let Bochy make the easy decision to hand Gearrin a bat with the winning run lurking:

“He had a good average so the numbers swayed me there.”

Another inning and Bochy would have to dip into his remaining two arms: Hunter Strickland and Kyle Crick. It wouldn’t be necessary.

Up next

The Giants will go for the sweep, really, Wednesday afternoon with Ty Blach and Kyle Freeland facing off before embarking on a road trip to Pittsburgh.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.