Hector Sanchez knew when the Giants went to extra innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday that he would probably get a chance to come off the bench. When he finally did, as a pinch-hitter in the 11th inning, he delivered the game-winning single with one out and the bases loaded to give the Giants a 4-3 win.
Giants starter Matt Cain pitched another gem, allowing two runs in seven innings while striking out 10, but a blown save in the ninth gave the Brewers extra life before the Giants rallied in extras.
The victory was the Giants’ second in a row after they had dropped four straight as they prepare to head south to face the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
“There’s no getting around it,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That would have been a tough one to lose. … It was vital, I thought, we win that ballgame before we hit the road. It’s been a rough homestand. That would have been a long ride down to L.A.”
The walk-off was the first of Sanchez’s career, not just in the major leagues, but at any level of professional ball. He said through an interpreter that all he was trying to do was “get it to the outfield as far as possible.”
The ball didn’t need to travel far, and landed in shallow left to easily score Emmanuel Burriss from third.
The Giants took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning, but third baseman Conor Gillaspie booted a ball hit by Corey Hart for an error. Santiago Casilla was able to retire the next two hitters, but former Giant Travis Ishikawa battled through a nine-pitch at-bat and hit a ball that just escaped the reach of a diving Angel Pagan in left-center for an RBI double.
“That’s bad luck more than anything,” Bochy said of the Brewers’ rally. “[Casilla’s] certainly doing a nice job.”
After Cain gave up a run in the top of the first inning on a bloop single by Aramis Ramirez, the Giants scored two quick runs when Gillaspie doubled in Gregor Blanco and Pagan beat out a double play to score Gillaspie from third three hitters later.
NOTE: Aubrey Huff is scheduled to come off the disabled list today for the Giants, but the team has yet to decide if he’ll be activated today or if he’ll need a rehab assignment first.