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There are big comebacks, but this one is wild

Giants rally back from eight-run deficit to top Reds in extra innings
@mi_guardado
May 4, 2019

CINCINNATI -- Entering Friday, the Giants had not won a game at Great American Ball Park in three years. Over that span, they had lost seven consecutive games here and were outscored by 43 runs. Those woes were not lost upon Buster Posey. "It sounds silly because Cincinnati is historically

CINCINNATI -- Entering Friday, the Giants had not won a game at Great American Ball Park in three years. Over that span, they had lost seven consecutive games here and were outscored by 43 runs. Those woes were not lost upon Buster Posey.

"It sounds silly because Cincinnati is historically a hitters' park," Posey said Wednesday. "We just haven't played well there. We just have to fly there and just mentally be geared and ready to go and not come out lackadaisical."

The Giants embraced that mantra on Friday, erasing an eight-run deficit en route to securing a wild, 12-11 comeback win over the Reds in the opening game of a four-game series. Stephen Vogt homered off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias with two outs in the ninth inning to tie the game, and Evan Longoria delivered the decisive hit, crushing a go-ahead home run off Jared Hughes in the top of the 11th.

Box score

“We’ve had a tough time here,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And then we come in here the first game and get down eight runs, you go, ‘Oh man, there’s something about this ballpark.’ I can’t say enough about how they battled and what some guys did to help us win that game.”

It matched the largest comeback win in Giants history and marked the fifth time the club has accomplished the feat. San Francisco also came back from an eight-run deficit on Sept. 8, 1947 at Pittsburgh; April 14, 1970 at Atlanta; Sept. 23, 1970 at Los Angeles; and Sept. 4, 1989 at Cincinnati.

Trailing 8-0 in the third after a rocky 2019 debut from Tyler Beede, the Giants rallied to score three runs in the fourth, four in the sixth and three in the eighth before tying the game on Vogt's first home run as a Giant in the ninth. Vogt, who missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from right shoulder surgery, finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs in his first Major League game since Sept. 30, 2017.

“Obviously, just a day full of emotions to begin with,” said Vogt, who was added to the Giants’ roster on Wednesday. “Just so blessed and happy to be back in the big leagues and playing for this team. To get a chance to come into a game and contribute to a comeback win like that, it really was just emotional. To play a part in it and be in this situation less than a year out of surgery, I’m kind of at a loss, to be honest. Even in your wildest dreams, you don’t dream up a situation like this.”

Longoria, Brandon Crawford and Steven Duggar also collected multiple hits, while Joe Panik contributed a two-run home run in the sixth. But Vogt provided the biggest lift, entering the game to replace Posey behind the plate in the fifth inning with the Giants down by five runs. It marked the end of a long road back to the Majors for the 34-year-old veteran, who signed a Minor League deal with the Giants over the offseason and agreed to open the season at Triple-A Sacramento as he continued to build strength back up in his throwing shoulder.

In his first Major League at-bat in 20 months, Vogt delivered an RBI double off the top of the right-field wall in the sixth. He added a bloop single in the eighth before keeping the Giants’ comeback attempt alive with his game-tying homer off Iglesias in the ninth.

“Obviously, we were kind of feeding off Vogt,” Beede said. “Playing with him the last month or two, he brings a different energy.”

While the Giants aren’t built to win a shootout, they knocked out a season-high 17 hits to secure their first win at Great American Ball Park since May 3, 2016. Vogt said he believes that type of output can help jolt the club’s offense, which entered Friday with the second-lowest batting average in the Majors.

“A win like this can get everybody going,” Vogt said. “Pitching and defense wins games, but offense creates energy. For the offense to come back and energize the whole team, the whole dugout -- when Longo hit that clutch homer, the dugout just erupted. That’s the kind of moment that gets everybody going.”

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.