LOS ANGELES – For the past 52 days, a Giants team that enjoyed first-half excellence has been sitting alone in first place in the National League West.
They’ve made it 53 in surprising fashion, thanks to Buster Posey, Wilmer Flores and close Tyler Rogers.
The Giants took a 6-1 fifth-innings lead on a walk-off three-run home run from Dodgers catcher Will Smith and, after losing 8-6, it was San Francisco’s turn to heartbreak as Flores scored a go-forward. Kenny Jenson’s near two-run home run was launched to give the Giants a 4-2 win.
With the Giants going 2-1 back in the ninth, Posey came off the bench for his fourth pinch-hitting appearance of the season. The catcher drilled a Jenson cutter into right field to start a Giants rally before Steven Duggar replaced him as a pinch-runner.
Duggar had to do nothing more than jog.
On the third pitch of Flores’ at-bat, he crushed a 406-foot homer into the left field bleachers to stun a Dodgers crowd, which had only been sent into a frenzy 24 hours earlier when Smith fired a Rogers slider into the night. Deeply launched.
“This group is very tough for Wilmer Flores,” said manager Gabe Kapler. “He’s been clutch like any hitter during the last two seasons. It was his MO when he was in New York. He’s always known for being clutch and coming up to the big spots and thriving in the biggest moments.
With Rogers warming up in the bullpen, a Giants offense that has struggled to score a late run, Jenson to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after another rallies run from Donovan Solano and Thyro Estrada as Darin Roof doubles. convinced to pull.
After lefty Victor Gonzalez dismissed Lamonte Wade Jr., Kurt Casali made a five-pitch walk to bring Roof home.
Soon after Rogers surrendered a walk-off home run on Tuesday, Giants manager Gabe Kapler reaffirmed his confidence in the right hand and said he “can’t wait” to send him back to the mound for the next opportunity. .
Rogers got a chance of redemption.
Smith led the bottom of the ninth inning and flew to the right field on the second pitch before Cody Bellinger was dismissed and AJ Pollock tapped out to complete the bottom half of the ninth.
Smith and Pollock are just two of five players to have ever taken home Rogers in a major league game, but neither of them were able to achieve their best swing against the Giants Wright.
Johnson was saved for the first time against the Giants since September 12, 2013, when Gregor Blanco recorded a game-tying hit in the ninth inning before the Dodgers won 3–2 in 10 innings.
The victory allowed the Giants to extend their nearly two-month rule over the division and guaranteed they would split a crucial four-game set in at least Los Angeles. Regardless of what happens in Thursday’s finale, the Giants will be the first at home for the weekend and the first to face a Pirates team that was swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in just four games.
The late heroes oversaw the impressive work of Giants starter Logan Webb and relievers Jay Jackson, Jack Littel and Jose Alvarez.
Unlike veteran starter Aaron Sanchez, who is set to start his seventh rehab with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday due to a shoulder injury and subsequent blister problem, Webb was not given the luxury of building up his stamina in the minors. was.
When the youngest member of the Giants roster was ready to start pitching again after a five-week absence due to a shoulder injury, San Francisco called him for a three-inning debut against the Nationals on Friday, July 9. put back into rotation.
Webb is still not ready to bowl 100 or more pitches at the start, but he has been effective and efficient since returning from the injured list. Wednesday’s 75-pitch outing at Dodger Stadium was almost as good as the Giants could have hoped for as they completed five innings, limiting a deep Los Angeles lineup to two runs.
Webb’s outing started poorly as he dropped a leadoff solo home run to shortstop Chris Taylor, who tormented the Giants with two home runs in an 8-6 loss on Tuesday, but made only his remaining start. Rebounded by allowing two hits.