Sanchez’s slam in 11th helps Giants win
AP Sports Writer
DENVER — Backup catcher Hector Sanchez played a starring role in a wild win.
He could get used to this.
Sanchez hit two of San Francisco’s six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning Wednesday that gave the Giants a thrilling 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
With the Giants on the verge of being swept in a three-game series at Coors Field for the first time in 12 years, Sanchez drove a fastball from Chad Bettis (0-1) into the bushes behind center field. He also hit a solo homer in the eighth.
“Everybody wants to be the hero,” said Sanchez, who was spelling Buster Posey in a day game following a night contest. “Everybody wants to do well.”
Catching the entire game, Sanchez was starting to feel his legs cramp in the late innings. It certainly didn’t affect his swing, as he fouled off quite a few pitches from Bettis before connecting. He almost instantly raised his hand because, “I knew it was out of the park,” he said.
So did Bettis. But the reliever had no other choice than to try to blow a fastball by him with the count full and bases loaded.
“I put myself in a bad spot and got hurt for it,” Bettis said.
Michael Morse also hit two homers — a solo shot in the second and a three-run homer the following inning — as two Giants hit multiple homers in the same game for the first time since May 25, 2005. Brandon Hicks and Brandon Belt also went deep for the Giants, who rallied from a 5-1, second-inning deficit.
“I mean, we’re down 5-1, looking at getting swept here and they fought hard, found a way to win a game here,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who was ejected in the fourth for arguing balls and strikes. “It makes for a better flight home.”
Jean Machi (4-0) got one out in the 10th to earn the win. Sergio Romo struggled in a non-save situation, surrendering a two-run homer to Justin Morneau but retiring Brandon Barnes on a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Hunter Pence led off the 11th with a single and Belt followed with a walk. After a sacrifice, Joaquin Arias was intentionally walked to get to Sanchez, who delivered his first career slam.
Sanchez finished with a career-high five RBIs.
“We got the victory, and that’s the best part,” he said.
With him playing a central role, too, on a day when starter Matt Cain struggled. The righty allowed seven runs, 10 hits and three walks in six innings and is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts.
Charlie Blackmon finished 2 for 5 with a homer and four runs — lowering his batting average to .410. Troy Tulowitzki added a two-run homer and Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the seventh.
Belt’s two-run homer in the seventh gave the Giants a 7-6 lead and came off Rex Brothers. The hard-throwing lefty surrendered a game-ending, 10th-inning homer to Brandon Crawford on April 13.
Arenado tied the game with an RBI double off Cain. With two on and no outs, reliever Jeremy Affeldt was summoned into the game and got the Giants out of the predicament.
“We had Cain on the ropes early, but we’ve seen him do that before, where he battles and competes and somehow finds a way to stick around until late in the game,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s done that a handful of times against us. We had opportunities to really put that game away.”
Still, it was a productive homestand for the Rockies as they wound up 4-2.
“We are a team with confidence,” Weiss said. “I feel like the energy in the dugout is always good, even when we get down. Even being down four in that last inning, with Romo in the game, still a lot of energy and guys feeling like we could put something together and win the game. I feel good about our mentality.”
NOTES: Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval left in the seventh with a stomach virus. …. Hicks had to stop at second on his double in the eighth when a fan reached over the railing to grab it. … Bochy tinkered with his starting lineup, resting Posey and OF Angel Pagan, who’s been bothered by knee soreness. Pagan entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and grounded out. Posey was intentionally walked in the 10th. … Bochy said Pagan will have his knee checked out Thursday in San Francisco. … Morneau finished the homestand with nine hits, including two doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs.