These are the 5 best games by Giants hitters

January 11th, 2021

The Giants have borne witness to several historic offensive showings over their 138-year history. From four-homer games to World Series heroics to seven-hit deluges, here’s a look at the top five single-game hitting performances by Giants players:

1) : April 30, 1961 vs. Milwaukee Braves
When Mays arrived at County Stadium on the day of his four-homer game in Milwaukee, he was far from 100 percent. The previous evening, Mays and fellow Hall of Famer Willie McCovey had shared a plate of ribs that caused the Say Hey Kid to come down with a stomach illness. After spending much of the night vomiting, Mays told Giants manager Alvin Dark that he didn't feel fit to play.

"I just didn't feel good when I got to the ballpark the next day after I ate those ribs," Mays told author John Shea in his memoir, "24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid." "[Giants teammate Joey Amalfitano] asked me how I felt and to give him a number from 1 to 100. I said 75."

Amalfitano convinced Mays to try swinging an Adirondack bat, a lighter model than Mays typically used. During batting practice, Mays quickly hit five balls out of the park using Amalfitano's bat. Mays went back to Dark and said he wanted to play, setting the stage for the best game of his storied career. He hit four homers, drove in eight runs and tallied a franchise-record 16 total bases as the Giants routed the Braves, 14-4.

2) : Oct. 24, 2012 vs. Tigers
Twenty-one players have delivered a three-homer game for the Giants, but Sandoval’s performance continues to resonate because it took place on the biggest stage imaginable. In Game 1 of the 2012 World Series against the Tigers at AT&T Park, Sandoval crushed three home runs in his first three at-bats, joining Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three homers in a World Series game.

The first two home runs came off then-Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner, who was 7-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his previous seven starts. The second blast was especially impressive, as he crushed a 94.9 mph fastball, low and away, to the opposite field. Television cameras caught a stunned Verlander mouthing, “Wow,” as the ball left the ballpark.

After going 8-for-16 (.500) with three homers and four RBIs in a four-game sweep of the Tigers, Sandoval was named the Giants’ World Series MVP.

3) : Sept. 9, 2001 vs. Rockies
Bonds hit three home runs in a game four times over his 22-year career, but this showing at Coors Field was notable because it gave him 63 homers on the season to pass Roger Maris’ iconic mark. (The record had already been eclipsed by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998.) Bonds slugged No. 61 in the first inning to match Maris, who previously held the single-season home run crown after hitting 61 homers for the Yankees in 1961. The Giants’ slugger added No. 62 in the fifth before completing his trifecta with a three-run shot in the 11th. Bonds, of course, went on to break McGwire’s three-year-old record by finishing the season with 73 homers.

4) : Sept. 1, 2020 vs. Rockies
Dickerson enjoyed one of the best Giants debuts in franchise history after hitting a grand slam and driving in six runs at Chase Field on June 21, 2019, but he topped that performance by crushing three homers during the club’s historic 23-5 drubbing of the Rockies at Coors Field.

Dickerson opened the night by launching a changeup from right-hander Jon Gray to the third deck in right field for a 480-foot blast that set a record for the longest home run by a Giant since Statcast began measuring in 2015. He added two more homers and two doubles to tally 16 total bases, tying Mays’ single-game record with the Giants. Dickerson became the 15th player in MLB history -- and the first Giant -- to record five extra-base hits in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

5) : Aug. 8, 2016 vs. Marlins
Crawford made history after tying the National League record with seven hits in the Giants’ 8-7 win over the Marlins in 14 innings. The veteran shortstop finished 7-for-8 with five singles, a double and a triple, becoming only the fifth MLB player since at least 1913 to collect seven hits in a game. Crawford was the first to accomplish the feat since Rennie Stennett of the Pirates in 1975.

Crawford’s final hit, a line drive up the middle with two outs in the 14th, put the Giants ahead for good and helped end a five-hour, 34-minute marathon at Marlins Park. The seven hits set a franchise record, a surreal accomplishment for Crawford, a Bay Area native who grew up rooting for the Giants.

"It's crazy to me," Crawford said afterward. "The history of the Giants with all the great players that have come through here, you would think that someone would push across seven hits in one day. That's pretty crazy to be in that small company."