AT&T PARK — Matt Moore was standing in the dugout when he allowed his first run in 16.2 innings on Wednesday afternoon.
“Oh, what a terrific job he did,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “[He] had good stuff. It’s hard to be as sharp as he was last game, but against an all right-handed lineup, good hitters, he did a terrific job.”
One start after coming one out from throwing a no-hitter, Moore allowed a hit to the first Arizona Diamondback he faced.
For Moore, the ground-ball single by Jean Segura wasn’t indicative of what was to come. The lefty struck out seven of the first 15 batters, allowing one run in 5.1 innings in the San Francisco Giants’ 4-2 win.
After holding the D’Backs scoreless through the first five innings, Moore ran into trouble in the sixth.
A.J. Pollock led off with a single and then Paul Goldschmidt nearly put the visitors on the board. The first baseman drove an 84 mph changeup into center field that Gorkys Hernandez tracked down, as he slammed face first into the wall.
Before the game, Bochy explained that he called on Hernandez to fill in for Denard Span (stiff neck) because Angel Pagan wasn’t quite 100 percent (groin) and throwing Jarrett Parker into center field wouldn’t have been fair to the rookie.
“What a beautiful catch, huh?” Bochy marvaled. “He’s a gifted outfielder. That’s why he played today. We wanted our best defense out there and he’s really good defensively and he just made a great catch.
“He saved us too,” Bochy added. “That’s what defense does for you.”
Goldschmidt was the last D’Back Moore faced, and two batters later Hunter Strickland allowed an RBI-groundout as the starter watched on from the dugout.
Earlier in the inning, as Moore walked off the mound, the crowd at AT&T Park greeted him with a standing ovation.
“It feels great,” Moore said. “This is — I think — the first time I’ve won here in this ballpark, so it feels great to be accepted and to have that kind of energy behind you, and you can feel it.”
The Giants gave Shelby Miller a rude welcome in his first major league start in nearly two months. Thanks to an RBI double from Buster Posey and a two-out single from Hunter Pence, the Giants claimed a two-run advantage in the first.
That was the only damage the Giants managed in Miller’s six innings of work, but the team picked up a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.
Pagan lined a run-scoring double to right and Posey collected his second RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly. Pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie began the rally with a triple — his second in three games.
After not pitching since last Thursday, Santiago Casilla recorded the final four outs of the 4-2 win. The closer struck out Yasmany Tomas to escape a bases loaded jam that Sergio Romo had created in the eighth
“Casilla saved us there and that’s huge,” Bochy said.
In the ninth, the veteran closer pitched around a Jake Lamb pinch-hit home run to earn his first save since Aug. 18.
“It’s like nothing’s easy here. We played it close,” Bochy said. “We had a chance to blow that game open, but we couldn’t do it and they got the tying run up there and they keep battling back.”
— After the win, Bochy still wouldn’t say who’s starting on Friday. All he would say was that the team would be making an announcement. The only announcement that the Giants made after the game was that six new players will be joining the team in Chicago on Thursday.
Mac Williamson and Joel Osich were both activated from the disabled list and Ty Blach, Kelby Tomlinson, Matt Reynolds and Steven Okert were all recalled from AAA.
Before the game Bochy said the decision was down to Matt Cain and Albert Suarez, but that was before Blach was promoted — leaving open the possibility that the left-hander could draw the start.
— Miller hit Eduardo Nunez with a pitch in the sixth, but it sounds like the third baseman will be okay.
“He got hit pretty good in the chest area,” Bochy said. “I don’t know exactly where it hit him, but it knocked the wind out of him. He’s tough. He stayed in — until I made a double switch there — but I think he’ll be alright tomorrow.”