AT&T Park — Alen Hanson, his arms outstretched, was the first San Francisco Giant to greet Brandon Crawford on the grass just in front of second base.
Derek Holland, lugging a water cooler, lead the rest of the calvary. Crawford had just rapped an RBI single to right, walking off the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4, and sending the Giants out of town on a winning note.
“The boys fought hard. That’s what you have to do,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The whole game they kept coming back. Great win for us. It could be our best win this year.”
A day after connecting on a pinch-hit double in the ninth, Hanson had leveled the score, 4-4, with just one out to go, sending a two-run homer beyond the wall in right center field. With his latest heroics, Hanson, the minor league free agent turned super sub, pushed his average to .346.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than that,” Bochy said. “Two outs and you tie the game with a home run. It was a game that was a little frustrating, to be honest. It wasn’t our best game early but a couple of great comebacks there, two-out rallies that won that game for us.”
Starter Chris Stratton’s first frame in the matinee getaway game proved to be scoreless, but he did allow a Paul Goldschmidt double, and the Diamondbacks slugger was just getting started.
The five-time All-Star, who arrived in San Francisco lugging an uncharacteristic .208 average, bludgeoned the Giants for three doubles on the day, going 4-for-5 on the day, finishing 8-for-12 in the series.
“It looks like he’s finding his swing and fortunately they’re leaving town because he looks like he’s gotten hot,” said Bochy after the 5-1 homestand.
Pablo Sandoval, who has shone in the absence of an ailing Brandon Belt, staked Stratton to a 1-0 lead, launching a 447-foot home run toright. The blast, Sandoval’s fourth of the season, left his bat at an exit velocity of 110 mph.
In the sixth, Sandoval delivered a defensive gem at first, limiting the damage in the wake of Goldschmidt’s third double of the day. Sandoval fired to the plate to cut Goldschmidt down attempting to score all the way from second on a Jake Lamb single.
Stratton, who worked four-plus innings, ended up allowing three runs on seven hits, but could have fared better with the support of his defense. He had been removed one inning before Sandoval’s run-saving throw. Stratton has now pitched five innings or fewer in five of his last six starts.
Stratton and the Giants felt the absence of a resting Buster Posey acutely in the third, when Nick Hundley lost a Daniel Descalso pop-up behind the plate. The Diamondback second baseman proceeded to send a two-run double off the wall in right.
Bochy said Posey was just getting a day in advance of Thursday’s off day and the 10-day road trip that begins with a weekend series in the nation’s capital against the Washington Nationals. Tending to a left elbow issue and left hip tightness, Posey is slated to return Friday night.