The Giants kind of needed this one. They had lost five consecutive games at home, scoring just 14 runs during that stretch (2.8 per game). Now they were on the road, in a hostile environment at Citizens Bank Park, for the first game of a six game trip. So Tim Lincecum went out and gave them six solid innings to keep them in the game, and Matt Duffy, Justin Maxwell and Buster Posey homered to lead the G-men to a 5-4 victory in Philadelphia.
With the Dodgers third consecutive loss, the Giants moved to within a half game of first place in the National League West.
Timmy (6-3, 3.29) got off to a rough start in this one, allowing a long two-run homer to Ryan Howard in the first inning, as the Giants fell behind 2-0. He would give up an RBI double to Jerome Williams in the second to fall behind 3-1, and a home run to Maikel Franco in the sixth to tie the score at 4-4. In all, Lincecum went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. Timmy picked up the win when Buster homered in the top of the seventh to put the G-men ahead for good, 5-4.
As it turned out, the Giants really needed the long ball as they were just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. With 12 hits, they could have easily broken this game open with more timely hitting. But as is the character of this world championship team, they found a way to win.
Posey’s game winning, team-leading ninth home run highlighted a 2-for-4 evening that ended a 4-for-28 slump. “Good for Buster,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I know he has been fighting himself a little bit at the plate.”
Joe Panik went 2 for 4 with a double and run scored, lifting his average to .311. And Brandon Crawford added an RBI single to put the Giants ahead 4-3 in the fifth inning, his team leading 38th RBI of the season.
Four Giants’ pitchers followed Timmy and shut out the Phillies over the last three innings, with Santiago Casilla throwing a perfect ninth inning to earn his 16th save on the year.
Game two of this three games series starts at 12:05 PT today, as Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner (6-2, 3.12) will oppose Severino Gonzalez (2-1, 6.88). MadBum has fared well against Philadelphia in his career, going 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts. Gonzalez will be making his fifth career start. Although this one certainly looks like a mismatch on paper, Gonzalez did strike out eight batters in 4 ⅓ innings in his last start, a no-decision against the Mets.
- The Giants are on pace to finish with 133 home runs. This would exceed last year’s total, which was unexpected considering the departure of Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse
- Left handed hitting Brandon Crawford is now hitting an amazing .450 (18-for-40) against left handed pitchers
- Casey McGehee was called up from Triple-A Sacramento yesterday when Jean Machi was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained groin. McGehee hit .357 with two homers, seven RBIs and a .571 slugging percentage for the River Cats in ten games. Bochy indicated that Duffy would remain the primary starting third baseman