In a battle of lockdown bullpens, it was the San Francisco Giants that emerged victorious, defeating the host Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Tuesday night with a run in the ninth inning that scored on an infield single and a throwing error.
Pablo Sandoval’s slow grounder with two outs in the ninth was fielded by a charging Dee Gordon, positioned on the outfield grass. His rushed, side-arm throw to first glanced off of first baseman Ryon Healy’s glove, allowing Steven Duggar to race home with the go-ahead run. Duggar’s one-out single off Edwin Diaz — his second hit of the night after going 1-for-13 over his past four games — started the rally.
Ben Gamel had tied the game in the sixth with a two-out, pinch-hit single off Reyes Moronta, who had come in to replace starter Andrew Suarez. He was batting for Guillermo Heredia, who tied the game up with a solo homer in the second.
San Francisco (52-50) had scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth, but couldn’t get a shut-down inning after taking the lead any of those three times. Kelby Tomlinson was involved in each of the first two rallies, tripling in the third and scoring on a Chase d’Arnaud pop-up to no-man’s land. He also singled home Brandon Crawford in the fourth, chasing Mariners spot starter Roenis Elias.
Elias, who was starting as Seattle decided to play it safe with ace James Paxton’s return from the disabled list, allowed six hits over 3 2/3 innings.
The Mariners tied it in the bottom of the fourth after loading the bases with no outs, with Nelson Cruz scoring on Denard Span’s sac fly, but Austin Slater gunned down Kyle Seager at the plate to keep the score tied after Zunino followed with a single.
After collecting three hits as a designated hitter against the Oakland A’s on Saturday, Hunter Pence once again took up the spot on Tuesday with Slater starting, and led off the sixth with a 445-foot moonshot off of Chasen Bradford for his first home run of the season. So far, as the designated hitter this year, Pence is 4-for-9. In his career, he’s 5-for-17.
After Gamel tied things back up in the sixth, San Francisco’s bullpen set Seattle (60-41) down in order in each of the final three innings. Sam Dyson struck out a pair in the seventh, Tony Watson took care of the eighth and Smith struck out Mike Zunino and Gamel before getting Gordon to pop out to close the game.
Giants left-hander Will Smith took care of the bottom of the ninth for his fourth save, with the only shut-down inning San Francisco would get on the evening.
With the win, manager Bruce Bochy tied Casey Stengel for 11th on the all-time managerial wins list. He now has 1,905. The 10 managers ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.