Red-hot Giants win in 10
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco Giants are surging into playoff contention and Aubrey Huff says there’s one reason why: leadoff hitter Andres Torres.
“Since he’s been at the top of our lineup, to me, he’s been our MVP,” said Huff after Torres’ ground-rule single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Giants to a 10-9 victory over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night. “If he gets on base two times, more times than not we’re going to win. He’s really carrying us, especially lately.”
San Francisco needed all it could get out of Torres after blowing leads of 7-1 and 9-2.
He had four hits, including a two-run home run into McCovey Cove in the sixth. He delivered the game-winner after the Giants hit three straight one-out singles off Florida reliever Clay Hensley (1-4) in the 10th. The ball hit on the warning track then bounced over the fence in left-center.
It’s the second walkoff hit for Torres this season and gave San Francisco a 34-23 record with him atop their lineup.
“This kid’s done everything,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s waited for this opportunity and he’s taking full advantage of it. I can’t think where we would be without Andres.”
Juan Uribe matched his season-high for the Giants with three hits and four RBIs while Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 21 games, longest in the majors.
Ronny Paulino, Donnie Murphy and Dan Uggla homered for the Marlins, who scored five times in the seventh and twice in the ninth to force extra innings. The two-run ninth came against San Francisco closer Brian Wilson.
“If we keep playing like that, I’m sure we’re going to win a lot of ballgames,” Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “We never gave up. We came back, we battled and we tied the game against the best closer right now in the National League.”
The Giants’ offense had 17 hits overall while notching their 17th win in 21 games.
Huff singled twice to surpass 1,500 hits for his career, but it was Torres who came up the biggest for the Giants.
“We’re not going to give up, that’s our mentality,” Torres said. “I was talking to (special assistant) Will Clark and he was talking about staying through the ball. I always ask because I want to learn every day.”
Much of the attention in San Francisco these days has been centered on Posey, the Giants’ young catcher who has been a smashing hit since being called up from the minors on May 29. Posey is on the verge of breaking numerous franchise rookie records and has been one of the top hitters in the majors since joining San Francisco.
Posey’s streak is one shy of the Giants’ rookie record of 22 set by Hall of Famer Willie McCovey in 1959.
Uribe had a two-run single in the first then drove in two more with a triple in the third. He also beat out an infield single in the fifth. Over his last 11 games, the veteran infielder is batting .356 (16 for 45).
Chris Ray (4-0) pitched the 10th for the win.
Jonathan Sanchez earned a fourth straight no-decision despite leaving with a 9-5 lead. The left-hander, who hasn’t won since July 5, allowed five runs and seven hits.
Sanchez gave up an RBI double to rookie Logan Morrison in the third – Morrison’s second hit in the big leagues since being called up Tuesday – and a solo home run to Paulino in the fourth. Murphy hit a pinch-hit three-run homer off Sanchez in the sixth to cut San Francisco’s lead to 9-5.
Uggla hit a two-run shot off reliever Denny Bautista in the seventh to make it 9-7. Uggla’s homer, his sixth in six games, tied the franchise career record of 143 set by Mike Lowell. It came after a wild pitch with two outs and two strikes allowed Gaby Sanchez to reach base.
“I can’t explain it and I’m not going to try to,” Uggla said of his streak. “I’m going to roll with it and ride it out. I probably never would have thought that I’d be right where I’m at in the Marlins statistical books but I am and we’ll see where it goes.”
After Uggla’s homer, the Marlins scored twice off Wilson in the ninth to tie the game. Sanchez had an RBI groundout while Uggla hit a ground-rule double to drive in pinch-runner Emilio Bonifacio.
Florida’s Alex Sanabia was shelled in his fourth major league start. The right-hander lasted two innings and was tagged for seven runs and nine hits.
Notes: The Giants are 18-5 since July 3, the best mark in the majors. … Wilson was fined $1,000 earlier Wednesday by MLB for wearing bright orange cleats during Tuesday’s game. Wilson took the shoes – a gift from Nike that were presented to him at the All-Star game – and partially colored them in with a black marker before Wednesday’s game. … This is the first time the Marlins have lost consecutive games since July 2-3. … San Francisco is 5-1 against Florida this season.