By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA – What a difference a road game can make at home. The Giants in the second game of their doubleheader found the momentum they had been lacking in the first two games of this series.
San Francisco with a chance to even the series tomorrow beat the Reds 5-3. In a unusual make-up game the Giants were the visiting team for the second game and that emphatically was the turnaround they needed.
“The energy in the dugout was different,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I did feel like we had a chance to win, these guys fought hard to win this ball game.
Pablo Sandoval knocked in a two-run double for an early 2-0 lead in the first frame and Hunter Pence followed with a RBI single to add on one more run. The offense kept the hits coming, in the second Gregor Blanco was out on a sacrifice fly and scored in Brandon Crawford.
But leave it to Cincinnati to make it a ball game. Corky Miller cut the lead in half with a two-run double in the second. The Giants defense which had been missing in the last two games, showed up tonight to limit the runs scored by the Reds. Pence who gaffed on an error in the third made up for it with an amazing diving catch in the fifth to prevent any runs scored.
“I made such a terrible play earlier that I was hoping for an opportunity to do something good because [Zito] picked me up,” said Hunter. “It felt good to be able to me that play for him.”
San Francisco got an insurance run in the fifth. After that the offense quieted once again and the defense took over. Barry Zito was one out shy of qualifying for the victory but only lasted 4 2/3 innings. He yielded six hits, on three runs, three walks and three strikeouts.
“I was frustrated with the last couple of hitters I faced personally,” Zito said. “But we came out and scored some runs today. It’s good to get the split. Tomorrow we want to go and split the series and still make it a positive homestead.”
The Giants snapped a three-game losing streak and for the first time scored at least three runs in the first inning since May 4. With the win tonight Bochy became the 21st manager in baseball history to reach 1,500 victories.
He joins Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker and Detroit’s Jim Leyland among active managers with 1,500 wins. Within the group, 12 managers were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I’ll be honest. I don’t know what that number means, except that I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been doing this as long as I have,” said Bruce.”
“You have to respect everything he’s done for this game,” closer Sergio Romo said. “I have no room to complain or say anything negative about that man. He puts us in positions where he feels we can succeed.”