AT&T PARK — Chris Stratton faced a lone batter on Monday night before sheets of rain started falling from the sky, sending San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers scattering off the field and leading to an extended rain delay.
On a night when bolts of lightening frequently flashed across the sky and thunder rumbled out on the horizon, Stratton’s ill-fated first pitch was delayed until 7:57 p.m.
The game resumed at 10:50 p.m,, with Ty Blach taking over for Stratton once the weather finally started cooperating again.
The contest finally ended at 2:11 a.m. — 6 hours and 14 minutes after it started — in a 8-6 triumph for the Giants, dooming the tailspinning Dodgers to their 11th loss in as many games.
Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda finally threw his first pitch just after 11 p.m., with the Giants greeting him in rude fashion. Denard Span put a two-run homer in McCovey Cove in the first and Jarrett Parker homered onto the ledge above the brick archways in right field an inning later.
Joe Panik drove in a fourth run in the third inning before the surprise outing quickly unraveled on Blach. The left-hander only retired two outs in the fourth before manager Bruce Bochy had to trudge out of the dugout to relieve Blach after the Dodgers tied the game with a four-run barrage.
Blach ended up allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in his 3.1 innings of work.
Yasiel Puig broke the 4-4 tie in the fifth, blasting a 441-foot, 109-mph home run that seemed to be rising even as it flew high over the left-field wall and into the bleachers.
The Giants reclaimed the lead half an inning later, courtesy of RBI singles from Span and Buster Posey.
The back-and-forth continued in the top of the sixth when Justin Turner doubled into the left-center field gap, leveling the score at 6-6.
Hunter Pence pushed the Giants ahead again in the bottom half of the frame, singling in Pablo Sandoval. The third baseman had just served a single to left after entering the at bat mired in a 1-for-47 slide.
Posey added an eighth run an inning later, booming a double off the left-field wall, allowing Span to race home.
Vogelsong to retire as a Giant on Sunday
Fan favorite and two-time World Series winner Ryan Vogelsong will retire as a Giant on Sunday.
The club announced on Monday that the right-hander, who played a couple stints with the Giants, will be honored before Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Manager Bruce Bochy said the team is still figuring out how Vogelsong will be recognized, adding that the team would like to sign the longtiime starter to a one-day contract so that he couldn’t take a bow from the mound before exiting.
“We are so excited to honor Ryan and touched that as one of our home grown players his career will officially end where it all began for him,” Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans said in a statement.
The Giants drafted Vogelsong in the 5th round of the 1998 draft. He debuted in September of 2000. The Giants traded him on the eve of the deadline in 2001, but Vogelsong eventually found his way back to San Francisco after enduring a baseball odyssey.
Vogelsong spent five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and even played for a couple of teams in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball organization before rejoining the Giants on a minor league deal in 2011.
The starter made the All-Star team that season and won rings in 2012 and 2014.
“Ryan’s journey in this game has been marked by highs and lows, successes and challenges,” Evans said. “But through it all he has always been a person of great integrity, strong character and a fierce competitor. He is a World Series Champion and a forever Giant.”