AT&T PARK — After the San Francisco Giants had managed just a pair of runs in the opening two games of the weekend set with the Minnesota Twins, manager Bruce Bochy threw out a lineup sans Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Denard Span and the still-recovering Joe Panik for Sunday’s finale.
On a day the B-team was out in full effect, it was Buster Posey — one of the few regulars to play from the start — who carried the Giants past the Twins, 13-8, ensuring the club would avoid its first ever sweep at the hands of the American League Central frontrunners.
The backstop sparked the club’s four-run bottom of the seventh, hammering a double into the left-field corner that brought in Kelby Tomlinson and Eduardo Núñez. Hunter Pence (double) and Austin Slater (single) also drove in runs during the seventh-inning barrage.
“[That was] huge,” Bochy said of Posey’s two-base hit. “We lose the first two. We’re trying to keep from getting swept.”
Bochy on Posey's 'huge' double: pic.twitter.com/TNZdSm2PPz
— Karl Buscheck (@KarlBuscheck) June 12, 2017
The club then poured on five more runs in the eight, coasting to a comfortable win.
“Anytime you sit regulars like that and get a win, and come from behind, that’s nice,” Bochy added. “Those guys needed at bats and had big days for us.”
The late onslaught saved Matt Cain from his fifth loss in as many starts — even as he failed to escape the top of the fifth on Sunday afternoon.
“That was tremendous,” Cain said. “The guy’s did a great job of picking me [when I was] having a rough one.”
After Aaron Hill and Posey staked the veteran to a 2-0 advantage with a sacrifice fly and groundout, respectively, in the bottom of the first, Cain surrendered the lead half an inning later.
The Twins tagged Cain for 831 feet of home runs in the second, as Eduardo Escobar and Byron Buxton both connected on solo home runs. The visitors tacked on three more runs in the fifth, as George Kontos came on for Cain, who recorded just a single out in his final frame.
“I felt like I was behind in the count a good bit today,” Cain said. “It seemed like the leadoff guy was on a lot [I was] in a lot of trouble, which is not what you want to do with a group of guys [who] are doing a good job of swinging the bat. It makes for definitely a long day.”
In addition to his seventh-inning RBI knock, Slater also collected a double in the fourth and a two-run triple in the eighth. The rookie left-fielder pushed his average to .320 with the three-hit, four-RBI day.
“If you look at his history, every level, he’s been moved up pretty fast,” Bochy said of the 2014 eighth-round pick.
“He’s figured it out and he’s succeeded and it’s not easy coming up here for the first time,” Bochy added. “But he looks comfortable. He looks confident and that’s the biggest part of this game, believing and having that confidence and right now he does and he’s throwing out some good [at bats] for us.”
Bumgarner throws for 2nd time in 3 days
Madison Bumgarner took to the bullpen mound for the second time in three days on Sunday morning, throwing 30 pitches — all of which were fastballs.
The left-hander — out with a separated left shoulder — had previously thrown 20 pitches on Friday, prompting Bochy to say that Bumgarner could face hitters in live batting practice as soon as the club’s four-game set with the Colorado Rockies, which begins on Thursday.
With a five-start minor league rehab assignment looming, Bumgarner remains on track for a post All-Star break return.Bruce BochyBuster PoseyMadison BumgarnerMatt CainMinnesota TwinsMLBSan Francisco Giants