Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stunner in the 9th

The Giants have now won 7 of 9. They got this one on the road....

Here's Henry Schulman's recap for the SF Chron


ST. LOUIS — The Giants were frozen in the postgame-celebration position waiting for the umpires to confirm by video that Mark Melancon indeed got Dexter Fowler to hit into a double play to end a 6-5 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night.
“It didn’t matter,” manager Bruce Bochy said with a smile. “We were shaking hands.”
The Giants deserved it after twice coming from behind, the last time on Eduardo Nuñez’s biggest hit of the year, a one-out, two-run double in the ninth inning against closer Seung-Hwan Oh. Oh had not allowed an earned run in more than a month nor blown a save since Opening Day.


The Giants went two years without winning when behind entering the ninth. Now they have done it in consecutive road games. They have won seven of their past nine games overall.
Melancon earned the save in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list.
Fowler had been a tough out. He tripled and scored against Matt Moore to help the Cardinals take a 2-0 lead.
After the Giants took the lead with three runs in the seventh, in a rally bisected by a 46-minute rain delay, Fowler crushed a three-run homer off George Kontos in the bottom half to give the Cardinals a 5-3 lead.
Melancon had been on the shelf since May 9 with a forearm strain. Asked to assess what he saw while he sat, he said the first several days looked like the weeks before, in which his new team looked nothing like contenders.
But over the past week?
“We showed what I thought this team had for years: fight, courage and will,” Melancon said. “Tonight we showed all of that.”
The Giants’ first rally, a three-run seventh, followed six shutout innings from Michael Wacha, who was pulled out of an abundance of caution over chronic shoulder injuries.
Nuñez and Christian Arroyo started the rally against reliever Jonathan Broxton with singles. Third baseman Jedd Gyorko committed an error, on which one run scored. Denard Span singled home the tying run, and Joe Panik provided a 3-2 lead on a soft groundout after Matt Bowman thought he had a strikeout on the 2-2 pitch.
A similar call on a pitch to Brandon Belt led to St. Louis manager Mike Matheny’s ejection just as a torrent hit Busch Stadium and the grounds crew was tarping the field. Matheny appeared to bump umpire Nic Lentz, grounds for suspension.
Matheny’s frown turned upside down after Steven Okert walked Kolten Wong to start the seventh, Jhonny Peralta singled and Fowler cracked his three-run homer off Kontos, who owns three of the Giants’ seven blown saves.
To win on the road consistently, a team must be relentless, and the Giants were. They scored one run in the eighth on Span’s second RBI single to close the gap to 5-4, with Arroyo and pinch-hitter Michael Morse singling ahead of him.
Then, Belt and Brandon Crawford each singled off Oh in the ninth for their third hits before Nuñez slammed a cutter over Fowler’s head to the center-field wall, delivering the tying and go-ahead runs.
Nuñez has not been much of an offensive threat so far. After his winning hit he said, “It’s a long season. Nothing to worry about yet. Some people start slow and finish strong. What are we looking for?”
The Giants are looking for more games like Friday’s, when they showed a tenacity they need to carry through the rest of the season, especially on the road, where they are 7-15.
They also are looking for more starts like Moore’s. He took a 10.50 road ERA into his first career game at Busch and kept the Giants in the game, which is all Bochy asks of his starters, especially away from AT&T Park.

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