The SF Giants extended their winning streak to five on Friday with a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite blowing an early lead, the Giants brought the winning run across with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Dbacks starter Tommy Henry allowed the Giants to get an early lead by surrendering a solo homer to shortstop Brandon Crawford on a 92 mph fastball up-and-in. Giants catcher Austin Wynns doubled the gap to lead off the third inning with a line drive homer of his own.
Then, in the fourth, rookie David Villar stayed hot in September. Villar entered play on Friday with a .115 batting average and a 41.1% strikeout rate on MLB offspeed pitches and breaking balls this season. Henry struck Villar out on a heavy dose of curveballs in his first trip to the plate. With a runner on base and two out in the fourth, Henry challenged Villar to hit his breaking ball once again. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Villar sat on Henry's curve and sent it into the left-center bleachers for a two-run homer. It's Villar's sixth homer in the month of September.
Giants infielder Wilmer Flores scored the team's fifth run of the game in the top of the fifth. Flores walked and came around to score on a single by Evan Longoria.
Three home runs would have normally been enough for Giants ace Carlos Rodón this season. Well rested after the Giants delayed his outing to help him rest a blister and broken fingernail, Rodón was not the sharpest version of himself on Friday.
Rodón clearly battled his blister and broken nail throughout the game, seemingly tentative to throw his breaking ball at times while taking some extended pauses to look at his finger. Lacking his usual command, Rodón issued multiple two-out walks that enabled the Diamondbacks' offense to do the bulk of their damage against him.
Rodón walked Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte with two outs in the bottom of the third inning before facing Stone Garrett. Garrett homered on a 95 mph fastball above the zone to tie the game at two. Rodón was more vulnerable than usual on Friday, but Garrett's homer was not a mistake, it was simply an amazing piece of hitting.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Garrett doubled off Rodón to put runners on second and third with one out. Rodón had labored through his 4.1 innings pitched, already throwing 93 pitches, and manager Gabe Kapler turned to the bullpen. Rodón did retake the NL strikeout lead with seven punchouts but also allowed four hits and three walks.
Reliever Yunior Marte entered to face Emmanuel Rivera and induced a soft line drive to right field. Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski sprinted to his left and dove for the ball. He was in perfect position to make an amazing catch, but the ball bounced off his glove and turned into a two-run double. Three batters later, Marte surrendered an RBI single to Jordan Luplow, which tied the game at five.
The Dbacks bullpen held the Giants scoreless until the ninth inning while San Francisco turned to recently promoted righty Shelby Miller. In his first big-league appearance this season, Miller was excellent across 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed four hits but racked up seven strikeouts, keeping hitters off balance with his mid-90s fastball and low-80s slider. He seemed to hang his breaking ball on a couple of occasions, but the Dbacks never seemed able to take advantage, swinging through multiple location mistakes.
Miller was replaced by southpaw Alex Young with a runner on second base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Diamondbacks right fielder Daulton Varsho nearly gave Arizona the lead, lining a ball over LaMonte Wade Jr's head in right field, but Wade made an incredible catch to keep the game tied.
In the top of the ninth, a two-out single from Yastrzemski off Dbacks reliever Caleb Smith sparked the game-winning rally. Arizona's third baseman Sergio Alcantara rushed a throw to second base on a groundball from Longoria, which should have ended the inning. Instead, Alcantara threw the ball into right field and J.D. Davis came to the plate with runners on the corners.
Davis lined a double down the left-field line that put the Giants ahead 6-5. While Longoria was thrown out trying to score on the play, it was enough for Giants closer Camilo Doval. The Dbacks put a runner in scoring position against Doval, but were unable to tie the game.
The SF Giants are now 74-77 on the season. They will face off against the Diamondbacks again tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 5:10 PM Pacific.