It would be hard to believe after they spent much of the first two months below .500, but the San Francisco Giants now find themselves just 2 1/2 games out of first place after Sunday’s 9-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, finishing off a three-game sweep.
The Giants tagged Zack Godley for a second consecutive outing, saddling the right-hander with seven runs in four-plus innings.
Godley — who pitched one of his best games on April 9 in San Francisco — allowed nine hits on Sunday, and though seven were just singles, he also walked five and hit a batter. Four of those six free baserunners factored into runs.
Giants catcher Nick Hundley walked to open the second inning and scored the game’s first run on Joe Panik’s two-out single. With the two outs and the score tied at 2 in the third after a Hundley RBI single, Pablo Sandoval was hit on the elbow with a pitch to load the bases, and San Francisco (45-40) would retake the lead as Austin Slater followed with a single. Sandoval was later removed from the game with an elbow contusion, but should be just day-to-day.
A four-run fifth was the icing on the cake, with Godley leaving after three batters and Silvino Bracho unable to stop the bleeding.
Walks to Alen Hanson and Slater started the inning, and after a Panik RBI single made it 5-3, Bracho relieved Godley but fared no better, allowing a Hunter Pence two-run pinch-hit double to break the game open. Brandon Belt followed with an RBI single to make it 8-3.
The offensive outburst made up for a poor day from Derek Holland, who failed to make it out of the fourth inning. He gave up seven hits and four walks, and Arizona (47-37) briefly took the lead in the second inning on a Chris Owings sac fly and Jarrod Dyson single. Cory Gearrin relieved Holland with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth after a second Dyson RBI single, and he got Christian Walker to ground out to end the inning. Gearrin was credited with the win for his efforts.
Holland did factor in at the plate, grounding into a double play to end the second but opening the fourth with a double and scoring on a double from Belt to make it 4-2.
The Diamondbacks would make things interesting, with Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer off Pierce Johnson in the sixth cutting the lead to three after a Nick Ahmed triple. Brandon Crawford would add an insurance run with an RBI double in the ninth off Fernando Salas, and though the hosts would get a run back against Mark Melancon on a John Ryan Murphy single, Will Smith struck out Jake Lamb, who represented the tying run, to end the game. It was Smith’s second save in three days; he had just one career save entering the weekend.