AT&T PARK — San Francisco Giants “first baseman” Buster Posey blasted a first-inning, three-run home run to right-center field against Cubs starter Jose Quintana. The long ball, which came just eight pitches into Quintana’s outing, barely made it over the fence before a fan deflected it back onto the field.
Posey started at first in place of Brandon Belt, who remains on the disabled list with a concussion. He entered the game with one hit in his past 18 at-bats.
But his home run was enough to lead San Francisco to a 6-3 victory. It was the Giants’ league-worst 91st home run of the season, but their 12th in as many games.
In the ninth, Posey capped his 2-for-4 day with a stolen base that set up an RBI single by shortstop Brandon Crawford.
“He hit a home run there and had a big stolen base too,” Bruce Bochy said when asked if Posey benefited from the move to first. “That’s a huge run [he scored in the ninth].”
Quintana, a July trade acquisition from the Chicago White Sox, was stellar after allowing the first-inning long ball. He pitched six innings, struck out three and allowed three earned runs.
In the fourth inning, Giants starting pitcher Ty Blach plated the team’s fourth run with an RBI single. Blach has put together a solid season at the plate: In his last start, he launched a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics.
Chicago chipped away at San Francisco’s four-run lead. The Cubs scored in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Jon Jay, and they cut their deficit to 4-2 with back-to-back doubles by catcher Willson Contreras and second baseman Ian Happ in the sixth.
But Blach, the Giants’ most consistent pitcher this season, lasted seven innings for the fifth-straight game. He surrendered seven hits and two runs, lowering his season ERA to 4.15.
“He did a good job to minimize the damage tonight,” Bochy said. “That’s what he’s good at.”
After the Giants scored once in the top of the eighth, Hunter Strickland allowed an unearned run in the bottom half. But he stranded a runner at second base by inducing an inning-ending fly out from pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber.
Closer Sam Dyson allowed a two-out walk but kept the Cubs scoreless in the ninth.
The Giants finished with nine hits for the second straight game. None was bigger than Posey’s blast in the first.
“When you don’t hit, you look flat,” Bochy said. “[When you start hitting], it does a lot for the dugout and a lot for the fans.”