Longo Takes Scherzer Out And It Stands Up!: Giants take Game 3 of epic, LA-SF showdown

San Francisco Giant hitter Evan Longoria swings for the game’s only run in the top of the fifth inning for the Giants second win of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Mon Oct 11, 2021 (AP New photo)

By Morris Phillips

On an unusually windy night in Los Angeles, pitching ruled the evening in Game 3 of the NLDS. Heaters, thrown by numerous pitchers, darted, dashed and overwhelmed hitters, especially up in the strike zone. Those that were hit all came to rest near the warning track in a subdued Dodger Stadium.

Only one man on either team stood up: Evan Longoria.

“I didn’t want to get beat by another fastball,” Longoria said of his fifth inning confrontation with the incomparable Max Scherzer.

He didn’t. Scherzer threw an 0-2 fastball that grabbed too much of the plate, and Longoria launched it… 407 feet into the left field bleachers. Incredibly, that one run stood up in a 1-0 Giants’ win that has them one victory from taking the series with Game 4 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and a potential, winner-take-all Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday. There were 20 strikeouts in the game (14 suffered by San Francisco hitters), only one extra-base hit (Longoria’s) and after the Giants’ third baseman gave the Giants the lead, they never saw the base paths again: the last 15 Giants’ hitters were retired, most without a fuss.

So what had to happen for the NL West champions, did. Giants’ pitchers–starter Alex Wood and relievers Tyler Rogers, Jake McGee and 24-year old Camilo Doval–ruled the evening, shutting down the Dodgers for nine innings, despite some base traffic, and quite a few anxious moments.

Scherzer, who was previously foiled by the Giants in the 2012 World Series, was great again. The surefire Hall of Famer went seven, striking out ten, and walking one, but he couldn’t corral Longoria in the fifth. That one pitch unraveled his whole evening.

“He’s just a professional hitter who has done it very successfully for a very long time,” manager Gabe Kapler said of Longoria.

In the manner that Kapler has employed all season, his team switched roles and convention on the fly. Closer McGee, who had 31 saves this season, but was only pitching for the second time in a month on Monday due to an oblique injury, came on in the seventh in a big spot. With two runners on, McGee struck out Austin Barnes on three pitches, and got Mookie Betts to line out to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who climbed an imaginary wire to make the catch.

Doval, the closer of the moment, then came on to shut the door in the eight and ninth, needing just 22 pitches to retire the side in each inning, and give the Giants the win.

Bucking convention? Sure, but it all made sense, really. McGee was the NL Reliever of the Month in July, and Doval–sensational in 14 1/3 scoreless innings with 20 strikeouts–was the NL Reliever of the Month in September. In a bullpen filled with high-leverage arms, Kapler sensed the shift, and followed his instinct. In both Giants’ wins in the series, Doval was the one to close it, despite only having 29 appearances–all this season–in his career.

Wood, the former Dodger who still participates in fantasy football leagues with his ex-teammates, wasn’t looking around for familiar faces on Monday. He too was fantastic, working through situations and lengthy innings that drove his pitch count up. He pitched into the fifth inning, allowing just two base hits and no walks.

Fly balls populated the outfield throughout as everyone in the park, and watching at home, learned to train their eyes on the sold-out bleachers, and watch the reaction of the fans seated there. Every time, with the exception of Longo’s blast, there was no reaction. The fans in the outfield–and their inactivity–told the story. The final blow from Gavin Lux off Doval may have been the most threating, but it too found a home… in center fielder Steven Duggar’s glove.

“I think any other night, the (Chris Taylor) ball and the Gavin Lux ball would have been home runs,” Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said.

Home Run Outcome: Dodgers hit one more than the Giants in 3-2 win

By Morris Phillips

For a team with 50 wins under its belt at the season’s halfway point, the Giants are clearly acting like they still have something to prove.

And they came that close to proving it at Dodgers Stadium on Monday… as close as a hand safely avoiding a swipe tag at second base.

Unfortunately, Mike Tauchman’s decision to stretch his single into a double opening the ninth inning failed, according to replay officials in New York who reviewed the call of out on the field. Had Tauchman been ruled safe, the Giants would have been set up with a runner in scoring position with three, capable hitters on deck with no outs.

Instead, they were reminded of a slow start, and an unforgettable 0 for 13 night hitting with runners in scoring position.

“I felt like I kept the team in the game and we were in it until the last inning,” said Anthony DeSclafani, summarizing the Giants’ evening of trying to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, but unable to come up with a big hit at any juncture. “We had a lot of runners on base. We just weren’t able to cash in on those.”

DeSclafani allowed home runs to Mookie Betts and Max Muncy, the first two batters he faced, and the Giants were in an early hole, down 2-0. But they answered with solo shots of their own from LaMonte Wade Jr. and Brandon Crawford, only to have DeSclafani give up a third shot to Will Smith in the fourth that ultimately became the deciding run.

Allowing three home runs had to be frustrating for the Giants. Only Alex Wood–also against the Dodgers–had allowed three in a game this season, and the statistic is one of a list that have catapulted the Giants to the top the standings. Coming into Monday, the team had allowed just 79 in 77 games, well below the league average for allowing home runs, and a nice counterpoint to the club’s MLB leading 116 homers hit.

The Dodgers managed just five hits, and the two that didn’t leave the yard didn’t amount to much. They also struck out 10 times against DeSclafani and three relievers, but it was enough. Meanwhile, the Giants piled up the hits and walks (11 hits, two walks) but it didn’t get them anywhere. They stranded all their baserunners when one breakthrough would have made the difference.

“Our guys just made pitches when they needed to,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

The win was the Dodgers’ fourth straight following the no-hitter they suffered at the hands of the Cubs last week. They’re within 2 1/2 games of the Giants atop the NL West, but there’s plenty of baseball left. The two teams currently sporting the best records in baseball will meet 11 more times, including Tuesday night, and the stakes will be high. But with half a season remaining, both clubs know they have to pace themselves.

“We did a good job of not adding any extra pressure” Betts said. “We haven’t got hot yet, but we’ve done a good job of staying steady.”

The Giants offer All-Star starting pitcher candidate Kevin Gausman on Tuesday in a star-studded pairing with the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler at 7:00pm on ESPN.

Craw By Law: Giants, Crawford keep the D’Backs reeling in 5-2 win

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Diamondbacks came to Oracle Park on Monday as a collective bundle of energy, singularly focused on ending a pair of once in a baseball life losing streaks: a 10-game slide approaching two weeks in length, and a 19-game slide on the road that dates back to April 25. Earlier on, they ran the bases and defended with the purpose needed to end their misery.

But the Giants had simpler motivation: stay in first place by taking advantage of a struggling opponent.

As the hits piled up–and Brandon Crawford delivered a big homer–the Giants’ desires won out.

Crawford homered in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie, and the Giants raced to a 5-2 win, their National League-best 19th win after a loss this season. The team’s leader in home runs and experience was almost a late scratch due to needing a day after a lengthy cross-country flight and no day off. But Crawford answered the bell, hitting fourth, and delivered.

“(Brandon) and I talked a little bit about the potential of a day off when we got back from this trip,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Maybe today, but then we agreed that perhaps we would try to push him for the next couple of games. He felt great about that, I felt good about it and his presence in the lineup was certainly needed tonight.”

“Without Brandon Crawford we aren’t where we are right now,” catcher Curt Casali said in part referencing a struggling lineup for the home team that had a number of guys scuffling after a weekend in Washington D.C. where the Giants were shutout twice and scored just three runs in four games.

Alex Wood pitched six innings, long enough to be the beneficiary of Crawford’s timely blast, and well worth it as the former Dodger won for the first time since May 16 in his fifth try at picking up a sixth win on the season. Wood had some shaky moments, but settled in, retiring seven of the final eight hitters he faced.

The D’Backs made some plays early, and almost were awarded a 2-1 lead, but a replay showing that a ball originally ruled a past ball actually hit Nick Ahmed’s trail foot in the batter’s box. That gave Ahmed first base, but denied Carson Kelly a free pass from third base to score. Tim Locastro, the next hitter, grounded out to third base to end the inning.

In the seventh, with Arizona trailing 3-2, Ketel Marte had an opportunity to knock in a run or two with a pair of baserunners aboard, but the D’Backs’ leading hitter popped out to shortstop while facing Giants’ reliever Dominic Leone.

But as the game wore on the D’Backs reverted to form, now approaching a major league record for consecutive road losses held by the ’63 New York Mets at 22.

“We’re in a grind right now,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t know where it’s at, what’s been happening or the reasons, but we’re working hard to figure that out.”

The Giants maintained their one-game lead on the Dodgers, who won at home against the Phillies on Monday night. But instead of focusing on the monster in their rear view, the Giants seem locked in on keeping Arizona reeling.

On Monday night, that objective was mission accomplished.

Neither the Giants or D’Backs have announced a starter for Tuesday night’s 6:45pm scheduled start.

Hard-hitting Giants get the jump on the Cubs in 7-2 win

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Half full COVID restricted ballparks translate to fully-audible bat swing contact, and that couldn’t haven’t been more apparent at Oracle Park on Thursday night.

With balls being whipped around the park from the game’s initial pitch, fans were treated to an audible fireworks show from both teams. Joc Pedersen started it with a rocket that was caught spectacularly by Steven Duggar at the wall on the game’s first pitch. Kris Bryant got his lick in with a ringing double as the game’s second batter, and Pedersen doubled down with a 427-foot splash hit that had kayaks in the cove scrambling in the third.

But the night’s loudest smack belonged to the Giants’ Brandon Crawford swinging on a 3-0 pitch in the fifth that became a decisive three-run homer that propelled the Giants to a 7-2 win in the opener of a four-game series.

“We had the go-ahead run at second base against a hard-throwing lefty,” Crawford said. “It was three sliders in a row and then a fastball over the plate.”

“He knew he was going to get a fastball from Brothers and he was ready for it,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “The ball wasn’t carrying tonight and that ball was hit very well.”

In the absence of Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski, Darin Ruf and Brandon Belt–all dealing with injuries–Crawford’s contribution was essential to getting past the Cubs, winners of 15 of 19 coming in, and far healthier than the host Giants. With the game tied 2-2 the Giants were getting their first look at the Chicago bullpen after starter Zach Davies departed with an elevated pitch count, and allowing the first three hitters in the inning to reach.

Reliever Rex Brothers fell behind Crawford 3-0, and wasn’t afforded a get-across pitch as the host’s leading home run hitter was granted the green light. Brothers’ first fastball provided the speed, and Crawford the heft, on the biggest pitch of the night.

The home run capped Crawford’s big night which started with an RBI single in the second and a bare-handed catch-and-throw in the third to retire Kris Bryant in the third.

The Giants have won five of six and improved to an NL-best 35-21 on the season.

Anthony DeSclafani may have allowed some loud contact early, but he was the winner in the end, pitching six innings, allowing four hits and two runs. DeSclafani also aided his cause with his first hit of the season, an RBI double that tied the game in the fourth. Ironically, the pitcher had gone 40 official at-bats without a hit and suffered a feeble strike out with the bases loaded to end the second inning.

The Giants get a second shot at the Cubs on Friday with familiar face Jake Arrieta pitching for Chicago and the Giants’ pitcher unannounced.

Giants acclimate quickly as Oracle Park visitors, whip the Mariners, 9-3

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants’ offense this season has shown less pop when they’re the visitors than it has when they play at Oracle Park.

Following that equation, Wednesday’s return to McCovey Cove was just what the Giants needed to get things rolling–on the road.

With the Mariners the designated home team for the game originally scheduled for Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, but moved due to poor air quality enveloping the Northwest, the Giants didn’t assume a secondary role as the visiting team. Batting first in each inning, the Giants immediately made themselves at home by blasting to an 8-0 lead midway through the fourth inning, then cruising to a 9-3 win.

Give the Giants the win, and bonus points for improvisation, according to manager Gabe Kapler.

“We knew there would be situations we haven’t had to deal with in Major League seasons past,” Kapler said. “We have to be good within the construct of whatever the season hands us.”

“It’s definitely a lot easier to deal with this stuff when you’re at your own place,” Brandon Belt said. “It’s definitely a lot more comfortable here for us. We get to go to our own house or whatever it may be. We get to use our own facilities when we come to the ballpark. I think that definitely plays a role.”

The first 31 games of this unusual season went off as planned. Since then, the Giants have experienced it all: social activism, virus outbreaks–and false positive tests–and now poor air quality due to the plethora of wildfires. And the adjustments weren’t initial successes: the Giants were listless in dropping hastily-scheduled doubleheaders to the Dodgers and Padres. But this time, they were ready, and their home park helped in that regard.

Belt, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford each homered in the win, and Crawford added two doubles to his big night, part of the team’s 15-hit parade, seven of those for extra bases. Seattle starter Ljay Newsome was hit hard, allowing eight hits and eight runs– five of which were earned.

Giants’ starter Drew Smyly recorded the first 11 outs–eight via strikeout–in an abbreviated appearance, his first start since landing on the injured list August 1 with a sprained finger. The short outing opened the door for Trevor Cahill, who picked up the win by pitching two innings in relief.

Smyly and six Giants relievers piled up 17 strikeouts, a real measure of the misery suffered by the Mariners, who needed a win to boost their postseason aspirations. Instead the Giants got that win, along with a Rockies loss (to the A’s, 3-1) to get them back to .500 with 12 games remaining.

The Giants returned home having played just three of six scheduled games, losing all three. The silver lining is all three cancelled games are late additions to the Oracle Park schedule, and part of the finishing kick that has the Giants in the Bay Area for the last 13 games of the regular season.

Bart’s debut a breeze, as the Giants cruise again, 10-5 over the Angels

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Joey Bart’s anticipated major league debut came with a pointed piece of advice from teammate Brandon Belt.

“Don’t mess it up.”

And Bart didn’t, contributing his first, major league hit–a double into the left field corner–after the Giants built a comfy 9-4 lead in the sixth.

The message to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft could have been worded a little less blunt, without changing the content: “Kid, we’ve got a good thing going. Just follow our lead.”

Even for someone talented enough to do damage immediately, taking the pressure off was a good deal. Bart got a first hand look at a hot lineup bashing and circling the bases–then jumped in after the major damage was done in the Giants’ 10-5 win over the Angels. Bart’s double was the Giants last of 12 hits on the evening, the third night in row of Giants on Angels violence that saw the home team score 31 runs in taking three of four.

Bart had been touted as the missing bat, but the Giants aren’t actually missing one right now. They scored five runs or better for the 15th time in 27 games, and their run scoring average at Oracle Park is nearing seven runs per game.

Directing the pitching staff as an everyday presence in the lineup was the expectation for Bart as soon as franchise legend Buster Posey opted out of 2020, but until now GM Farhan Zaidi maintained the Georgia Tech product wasn’t ready. Before Thursday’s game, Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler summarized Bart’s role.

“It’s serendipitous timing that the offense has been scoring some runs. We’ve won a couple of games,” Zaidi said. “It’s certainly nice to call them up when there’s some positive momentum. I do think with any young player, you don’t want a guy to feel like he’s coming up and has to like carry the offensive load.”

The pitching staff, which has allowed the third most home runs in baseball, and just ended a franchise-record 21-game streak of allowing at least one home run, needs help. Kapler would be satisfied if Bart provides that help.

“We may have to just monitor his workload early on based on how much work he got in Sacramento,” Kapler said. “Catching nine innings is a stressor, catching nine innings in a major league season is more of a stressor than it is in a secondary camp. We need to be cognizant of all those things. However, the goal is to build him to be our everyday starting catcher.”

Tyler Heineman was optioned to the Sacramento camp to clear space, and Chadwick Tromp is expected to continue in his role of catching Johnny Cueto when the veteran pitcher’s turn in the rotation comes up.

Bart had no complaints about the timing of his callup, saying “my time is going to come, and when it is here, I’m going to make the most of it.”

Bart did that in the sixth, keeping his hands back and exploding through the baseball, on a slower than slow 78 mph slider from Julio Teheran. The exit speed for the liner was nearly 110 mph, the hardest hit baseball by any Giant this year that didn’t result in a home run.

Wilmer Flores had three hits for the Giants, homering for the second consecutive game. Austin Slater scored twice and had two hits to raise his average to .347. And Brandon Crawford homered in the fourth to make it 9-1 Giants. The home run was the 100th of the shortstop’s career.

The Giants have won three straight for the first time in 2020. They welcome the Diamondbacks to Oracle Park on Friday for the first of a three-game series. Robbie Ray will face the Giants’ Logan Webb in a 6:45pm start.

Giants crush A’s 10-5 in game three of the Bay Bridge Series 2

Graphic: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The A’s literally snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory on Saturday night as they watched a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth inning be wiped out when the San Francisco exploded for eight runs on seven hits off five Oakland pitchers. It was simply a stunning rally that the A’s did not see coming.

For the Giants, it felt like they had pent up emotion and energy that just had to be released. Madison Bumgarner did his best to keep his team in the game to give them the chance to win. When the A’s pitching staff gave the Giants the slightest of openings, the men from across the Bay took the opportunity and did the most with it.

The Giants took game one (game 3 of 4 total) of the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland 10-5 on Saturday night before 56,367 fans who were treated their money’s worth for coming out to the ballpark. The Giants scored 10 runs off 13 hits and left six men on base. For the A’s, they put five runs up on the board on 10 hits while leaving 10 men on base and committing one error. The game took three hours and 50 minutes to complete.

The Giants record for the season improved to 64-65 with the victory while the A’s fell to 74-54 on the year. San Francisco is now 5.0 games out the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The A’s are 0.5 games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card slot in the American League.

In this type of game where 14 pitchers were used, determining the winning and losing pitcher is almost “voodoo” science. Sam Coonrod (3-0) gets credit for the win while Yusmeiro Petit(3-3) was tagged with the loss.

Neither starter figured into the final decision

Chris Bassitt pitched 5.2 innings for the A’s on Saturday night. The right-hander ran into some trouble as he started through the Giants order for the third time. He gave up a home run to Brandon Crawford on 0-1 pitch with two out in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Evan Longoria drove in Alex Dickerson from second base to tie the game at 2-2. That would be all for Bassitt as he was replaced on the mound by Jake Diekman.

Bassitt gave up two runs (both earned) off four hits (1 HR). He struck out five Giants and walked none. Bassitt threw 92 pitches (64 strikes).

Madison Bumgarner worked 5.0 innings for San Francisco in the contest. He also gave up two runs. The first run came off a leadoff home run by Mark Canha in the home half of the second inning that easily cleared the left-field fence. The A’s touched “Mad Bum” for another run in the bottom of the third inning.

Jurickson Profar walked to lead off the third for Oakland. Josh Phegley then singled to left field which moved Profar to second base. With one out, Matt Chapman hit a double to left that drove Profar in from second base to score the A’s second run of the game. The A’s took a temporary 2-0 at that point.

Bumgarner also gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits (1 HR). He struck five A’s and walked one. Bumgarner threw 97 pitches (64 strikes).

Did I just see a sacrifice?

Jurickson Profar was the leadoff hitter for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh, and he hit a double to right field. Catcher Josh Phegley then laid down a sacrifice bunt on the third-base side of the infield that moved Profar to third base (yes, everyone including the Giants was surprised). Marcus Semien followed up with an RBI single to left field. Matt Chapman singled to center sending Semien to third base. That would all for Giants reliever Jandel Gustave who would be replaced by Fernando Abad.

Matt Olson was the first Athletic to face Abad, and he hit a single to right that drove Semien home to score the fourth run of the game for Oakland. That would end the scoring for the A’s in the seventh inning and gave them a 4-2 lead, which proved to be not enough.

That’s a lot of fans! Graphic: @Athletics

Focus on the A’s

  • Mark Canha hit his 20th home run of the year off Bumgarner in the second inning of the game. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games.
  • The A’s now have five players with 20-plus home runs on the season: Canha (20), Chapman (29), Laureano (21), Olson (26), and Semien (22).
  • Oakland has a record of 22-11 versus left-handed starters in 2019.

Spotlight on the Giants

  • Brandon Crawford hit his 10th home run of the season in the win on Saturday night and his first home since July 15 at Colorado.
  • Kevin Pillar has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and is hitting .397 over that stretch.
  • Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 in the game, was hit-by-pitch and posted two RBI. He is hitting .347 since June 30.

Up next

The Bay Bridge Series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:07 PM at the Coliseum. The Giants will send rookie RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.80 era) to the hill to make his second start of the season. He made his major league debut last Saturday in Arizona picked up the win. Expect quite a few fans in the stands rooting for Webb who grew up in Rocklin just east of Sacramento.

The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06 era). Anderson has been having a rough go of things as he is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in his last five starts. Run support has been a big issue for Anderson. The A’s have provided three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. Anderson was the losing pitcher in the game with the Giants in San Francisco on August 13.

Player’s Weekend Uni’s

The black and white themed uniforms created an interesting effect on the field Saturday night. It was really a throwback feel. In fact, I felt like I was watching the movie “Eight Men Out” at times.

I really liked the all-black uniforms the Giants wore as the visiting team. They were as the guy says in the SUV commercial — “sharp!”. The all-white worn by the A’s were had a very clean look, but the lettering and numerals were washed out. If they had outlined the lettering and numbers in black, the home uniforms would have been “sharp”.

The A’s pitchers did wear black hats because it was determined that the hitters were having trouble picking the baseball up against the all-white caps.

Pillar goes 5-for-5, Belt gets grand slam in Giants’ 5-run win, 11-6

sfgate.com photo: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt hits a grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning during a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Phoenix.

In what is the San Francisco Giants’ last trip to Chase Field this season, the team is on fire through the first three games of the series.

Kevin Pillar went 5-for-5, Brandon Belt hit a grand slam and drove in six runs and the Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 at Chase Field.

With the victory, the Giants clinched the four-game series with one game remaining on Sunday afternoon and Madison Bumgarner on the mound.

Rookie Logan Webb, who grew up in Rocklin made his major-league debut went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned), giving up five hits, walking one and striking out seven, as he picked up the win in his debut.

Webb, who just returned from an 80-game suspension in July for testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs.

The right-hander made three starts at Double-A Richmond and then one at Triple-A Sacramento this past Monday.

Things did not start out well for Webb, as he allowed two runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Jarrod Dyson singled to lead off the inning, and then scored on a Wilmer Flores double. After Webb got Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta, Flores scored on a throwing error on a ball hit by Adam Jones.

Webb got out of the jam, as he got Jake Lamb to ground out to first base to end the inning.

That lead for the Diamondbacks would not last long, as Alex Dickerson led off the second inning with a walk, then Flores committed a throwing error, as he tried to flip the ball to Nick Ahmed at second base.

Pillar then came up with his first hit of the game that loaded the bases, and then Belt hit a grand slam that gave the Giants the lead for good.

It was the second career grand slam for Belt, who last hit one off of Luis Perdomo of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on April 7, 2017.

Brandon Crawford got into the act following the Belt home run, as he singled; however, Webb popped out on a sacrifice attempt for the first out of the inning.

Mike Yastrzemski, who hit three home runs on Friday night then singled to right field and then Stephen Vogt loaded the bases with a base hit of his own.

Evan Longoria drove in the fifth run of the inning, as he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Crawford from third base and sent Yastrzemski to third base.

Diamondbacks pitcher Taylor Clarke did not get out of the second inning, as he went 1.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned), walking one and striking out one.

Belt drove in his fifth run of the game in the top of the third inning, as he hit an opposite field single to left field that scored Pillar.

The Giants scored another run in the top of the sixth inning, as Longoria grounded into a double play that scored Austin Slater.

Crawford drove in his first run of the game, as he grounded out to Flores that allowed Scooter Gennett from third base.

Slater, who went 2-for-3 on the game after coming into the game on a double switch that saw Yastrzemski move to left field for Dickerson and Slater went into right field, singled to left field to score Pillar to give the Giants what looked like a commanding seven run lead.

The Diamondbacks, who scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night to tie up the game began the comeback, as Christian Walker hit a solo home run and then Escobar hit a sacrifice fly that scored Dyson in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Pillar drove in a run with his fifth hit of the game that scored Longoria, who singled to lead off the inning.

Belt then drove in his sixth run of the game, as he grounded out to Flores that scored Gennett from third base.

The final two runs of the game came when Ahmed hit a two-run home run off the foul pole in the bottom of the eighth inning.

With the score 11-6 in the top of the ninth inning, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo sent his catcher Alex Avila to the mound and he pitched a perfect ninth inning that included striking out Yastrzemski for the second out of the inning.

Jandel Gustave came on to close it out for the Giants in a non-save situation, and the game ended on a great play from Slater to Gennett to Longoria, as Escobar tried to stretch a double into a triple; however, Slater made a perfect throw to Gennett, who threw to Longoria to end the game.

NOTES: With the addition of Webb to the roster, Joey Rickard was optioned to Sacramento to make room for Webb.

The Giants went 7-for-16 with Runners In Scoring Position.

UP NEXT: Bumgarner will take the mound on Sunday for the Giants, while the Diamondbacks, who will try to avoid the sweep will send Merrill Kelly to the hill.

Pillar wins it late to give Giants the series; SF defeats Phillies 9-6

photo from sfgate.com:  San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar swings for an RBI triple off Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — When the San Francisco Giants they knew that were getting a hitter with power and potential, and this season, Kevin Pillar has done just that.

Pillar went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead triple in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 before a crowd of 36,637 at Oracle Park.

The win by the Giants gave them the series, their first series win since winning two out of three against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Evan Longoria led off the inning with a single, and then after both Stephen Vogt and Scooter Gennett were retired by Jose Alvarez, Nick Pivetta came on to face Pillar and he put into the right-center field alley that easily scored Longoria from first base.

Brandon Crawford was then intentionally walked, so that Pivetta could face Will Smith, who was making his first ever plate appearance. With Smith at the plate, Crawford stole second and then Smith shocked everyone, as he lashed an opposite field single that scored both Pillar and Crawford; however, Bryce Harper nearly ruined it, as his throw just missed getting Smith at first base.

Joey Rickard then doubled Smith to third base, where he shared a laugh with Ron Wotus and after a Brandon Belt walk, Pivetta finally got out of the inning, as he got Mike Yastrzemski to ground out to end the inning.

This was a wild game that saw everything, as the Giants took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Belt led off the inning with a walk, Yastrzemski then doubled off the left field wall and then Longoria gave the Giants the lead, when he singled up the middle off of Phillies starter Jake Arrieta.

Vogt then singled off of Arrieta that sent Longoria to third base; however, Arrieta regrouped to get Gennett to strike out and then Pillar grounded into a double play that ended the inning.

That 2-0 lead by the Giants was gone by the top of the second inning, as the Phillies erupted for three runs and that was end of the night for Giants starter Conner Menez.

J.T. Realmuto and Scott Kingery each walked, and after Sean Rodriguez struck out, Cesar Hernandez singled to load the bases. Arrieta then struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Phillies got on the board, when Roman Quinn walked and then Harper hit a two-run single that gave the Phillies the lead and that was it for Menez.

Jandel Gustave ended the inning, as he got Rhys Hoskins to fly out to Austin Slater and stop any further damage.

In all, Menez lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out four.

The Phillies attacked the Giants again in the top of the third inning, as Hernandez hit a two-run single off of the Giants third pitcher of the game and second reliever, Andrew Suarez, who came on to replace Gustave, when Corey Dickerson came on to pinch hit for Rodriguez.

Unfortunately for the Phillies that was the score for just one-half inning, as the Giants came all the way back to tie up the game, as Yastrzemski hit his 12th home run of the season. Longoria then picked up his second hit in as many at-bats, and after a Vogt fly out, Gennett doubled in Longoria to cut the Phillies lead down to one. Pillar then singled in Gennett to tie up the game.

Menez, who went from being on the hook for the loss, ended up getting a no-decision and Arrieta also did not fare in the decision, as he went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out five.

Gennett gave the Giants once again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he hit his second home run of the season and first at home. His home run landed in McCovey Cove, the 80th Splash Hit by a Giants batter since the ballpark opened on April 11, 2000.

Dickerson tied up the game in the top of the eighth inning, as his sacrifice fly that took Yastrzemski to the wall easily scored Realmuto from third base. Realmuto led off the inning with a single, then went to third on a Kingery double.

Smith, who came on to replace Tony Watson prior to the Dickerson sacrifice fly then walked Hernandez intentionally and Brad Miller flew out to Yastrzemski to end the inning.

In all, the Giants pitched the final 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking eight and striking out six.

Smith, who was unable to save the game for just the third time this season ended up with the victory, as he went the final 1.2 innings, allowing just two walks and a strikeout to improve his record to 4-0 on the season.

As a staff, the Giants walked 11 batters and this was the first time since September 20,2006 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field where they won a game like that. It was the 11th time since moving to San Francisco in 1958 that the Giants (2019 J.G. Spink Award Jayson Stark gets credit for that stat).

NOTES: Gustave, Trevor Gott and Smith each made their first ever plate appearances during the game, and this was the first time since September 21, 1934 that three pitchers made their first ever appearances at the plate in the same game. Sherman Edwards, Whitey Wistert and Lee Grissom each went to the plate for the first time for the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. That is the only other time since 1913 that this occurred in a game, according to STATS, INC.

The 11 walks by the Phillies are a season high, and the first time they turned the trick since April 26, 2009 against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in a 13-2 Phillies victory.

Prior to the game, the Giants honored their 1989 National League Championship team, as Will Clark, Don Robinson, Bill Bathe, Chris Speier, Ernie Camacho, Brett Butler, Terry Kennedy, Craig Lefferts, Ernest Riles, Donell Nixon, Atlee Hammaker, Dave Dravecky, Greg Litton, Kelly Downs, Robby Thompson and Mike Krukow were joined on the field by coaches Bill Fahey, Dusty Baker, Norm Sherry and manager Roger Craig.

They also memorialized Jose Uribe, Wendell Kim, Hank Greenwald and General Manager Al Rosen.

Giants President then announced the surprise of the night, The Thrill of the Night, as the Number 22, worn by Will Clark will be retired during the 2020 season.

Clark will join Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey in that elusive club.

Christy Mathewson and John McGraw are honored by the team with the letters NY, as they never wore numbers for the Giants.

Jackie Robinsons number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball and is also on the façade on the Club Level at Oracle Park.

Ford Frick Award Winners Jon Miller, Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges are honored on the Club Level.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner takes on the mound on Tuesday evening, as the Oakland As make their only trip to San Francisco this season. The As return to the Bay Area after splitting six games in Chicago will send Brett Anderson to the mound in the opener.

Regroup Fast: Giants get pushed around by the Phillies, lose 10-2

By Morris Phillips

Taking control of big games, winning series, and battling at least four other National League wild card hopefuls for the next nine weeks requires hard work, and heroic efforts churned out on a daily basis.

Knowing all that, the Giants took Thursday off, falling behind the Phillies 9-0 in the fourth inning in route to a 10-2 loss. J.P. Realmuto, Cesar Hernandez and Roman Quinn hit home runs for Philadelphia while Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez didn’t survive the third inning.

“We made some mistakes on the mound,” manager Bruce Bochy admitted.

The Phillies were in no mood to qualify their accomplishments. They’ve played losing baseball over their last 53 ballgames (24-29) and desperately needed to win a series, and stay in front of the Giants in the wild card hunt. They got that done Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve had guys that have had stretches that were really good, but we haven’t really clicked all together at the same time yet,” said Realmuto. “We feel like we have the guys in this clubhouse to get it done. We just have to come together and play well together and get things rolling.”

Philadelphia won a series against a team with a winning record for the first time since taking two of three at San Diego on June 3.

The Phillies joined the Nationals atop the wild card standings with the win, but they’re not alone. Whoever loses the Cubs-Cardinals game Thursday night will form a three-way tie for two playoff spots at 57-51. The Brewers are a game back, and the Giants (54-53) are 2 1/2 back.

The Giants surged after an encouraging outcome to the trade deadline that saw them keep Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner. They responded by whipping the Phillies 5-1 on Wednesday. That closed a miraculous July for the Giants with a 19-6 record.

But in the series finale, they appeared listless in the occasion of Alex Dickerson going on the disabled list with an oblique issue. Also, Brandon Crawford departed early when he injured his shoulder diving for a ball.