Posey sends everyone home happy; Giants catcher ends 17 inning marathon with walk off blast

May 13, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, right, is mobbed at home plate after hitting a walk-off home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the 17th inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 13, 2017, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 3-2. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Buster Posey ended the San Francisco Giants longest game of the season with just one swing of the bat.

Posey hit the first pitch he saw from Robert Stephenson and planted it into the left-center field bleachers, as the Giants defeated the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 in 17 innings before a crowd of 41,325, the 505th consecutive regular season sellout at AT&T Park.

The Posey home run was the latest regular season home run in a game since Jimmy Davenport on May 13, 1966 against the New York Mets, yes 51 years to the day. The Davenport home run was off of David Eilers.

It was the first walk-off home run of Posey’s career, and it made a winner out of Cory Gearrin, who pitched the final two innings, allowing two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Denard Span led off the bottom of the first inning with his second home run in as many nights, and it was 1st lead-off home run for a Giants player this season and the 12th of Span’s big league career.

The Reds took the lead in the top of the second inning, as Scott Schebler singled with one out and then scored the tying run on a triple to right-center field by Scooter Gennett. Tucker Barnhart then broke the tie, as he hit a sacrifice fly to Justin Ruggiano in right field.

Eduardo Nunez scored the tying run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he led off the inning with a bunt single and then went to second on a successful bunt single by Ruggiano. The two advanced an additional 90 feet, as Johnny Cueto put a perfect sacrifice bunt.

Following the perfect sacrifice bunt by Cueto, Span tied up the game with a single to right field that scored Nunez from third base. Span was thrown out trying to get to second base by Reds first baseman Joey Votto.

Reds starting pitcher and Bay Area native Scott Feldman went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out two.

Cueto went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits, walking three and striking out six. This was the third time that Cueto faced his former team, and second in the last six days.

With a chance to give Cueto the win instead of a no-decision, Brandon Belt hit a ball into the gap that was cut-off by Billy Hamilton, who in turn threw to Zack Cozart and Cozart threw to Eugenio Suarez, who tagged out Belt for the third and final out of the inning.

The Giants bullpen of Derek Law, Stephen Okert, Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich, George Kontos, Brian Morris and Gearrin went a combined eight innings, allowing zero runs on six hits, walking five and striking out seven.

Despite the loss, the Reds bullpen went nine innings, allowing just one run on five hits, not walking a batter and striking out seven.

NOTES: Matt Moore looks to make it two in a row for the Giants, as he takes the ball in the third game of the four-game series, while the Reds will send Lisalverto Bonilla to the mound.

On this date in Giants history (May 12 version) was a Willie Mays special, as just six days after his 27th birthday Mays hit the first grand slam in San Francisco Giants history in a 12-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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