Crawford gets payback as Giants beat D-backs
SAN FRANCISCO -- Forget the standings, which showed that a 16-game bulge separated National League West-leading San Francisco from last-place Arizona as Friday night began. The teams played with the emotion of postseason contenders in September as the Giants outlasted the D-backs, 6-2.
Tension rose when D-backs starter Patrick Corbin threw two second-inning pitches dangerously close to Buster Posey, prompting plate umpire Quinn Wolcott to warn both teams against escalating any hostility. In Arizona's half of the inning, a fastball from San Francisco's Jeff Samardzija struck Jean Segura, who homered on the game's first pitch. Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected, angry because Corbin wasn't tossed. Three innings later, Wolcott also ejected D-backs manager Chip Hale for arguing balls and strikes.
"It's frustrating, very frustrating," Hale said of Segura getting hit in the same spot where he was plunked Wednesday against the Padres. "Especially after hitting a home run. A guy goes deep like that and the next time he gets popped in the elbow. That's not a good thing."
Brandon Crawford went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs for the Giants, including a second-inning homer after Posey walked.
"Given the situation, yeah, it felt pretty good," said Crawford, who admitted feeling extra motivation after Corbin threw close to Posey. A throwing error by Arizona's Jake Lamb helped San Francisco add a pair of unearned runs in the third inning.
As if for emphasis, the Giants sealed their triumph by asserting themselves in the eighth inning. Right-hander Sergio Romo, making only his second appearance since recovering from an elbow injury, struck out the side after allowing a leadoff single.
"It was big, I think for him as much as anybody, hopefully to let him know that he's fine, that he's back," Bochy said.
Gregor Blanco then led off the bottom of the inning with his first career pinch-hit homer for the Giants' final run.
San Francisco hiked its Major League-best record to 55-33. That includes a 29-15 mark against NL West foes. Arizona lost for only the second time in its last 12 games at AT&T Park.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shark bares his teeth: Samardzija looked wobbly as he yielded a pair of first-inning runs. But the right-hander recovered, retiring 14 of 15 hitters he faced between the second and seventh innings. Samardzija (9-5) recorded his second win in his last eight starts.
For the record, Samardzija insisted he wasn't trying to hit Segura. In fact, he said the pitch that plunked Segura was similar to the one he clobbered earlier.
"He hit a running heater all the way back up and in. ... He took it [the second] time and it got him," Samardzija said. "It was unfortunate, especially with a runner on first."
Temperature rising: Corbin thought he had Grant Green struck out on a 2-2 slider in the fifth, but Wolcott called the pitch a ball. Corbin wound up walking Green to force in a run and Hale removed Corbin from the game. On his way back to the dugout, Hale yelled at Wolcott and was ejected. It was Hale's third ejection of the season.
"Just frustration," Hale said. "And felt like at that point Patrick had earned it. It's probably not the right thing to do, but at that point I was just frustrated and wanted to support Patrick. I thought he threw strike three there to Green, but the umpire differed and that's part of the game."
Crawford's encore: Crawford changed the course of the game with his home run, which tied the score and satisfied his desire for revenge after Corbin threw at Posey. Crawford happened to hit a homer off Corbin last Saturday at Chase Field.
"That's what I was going for, I guess. I at least wanted to get [Posey] in, and fortunately I was able to get a pitch where I could get us both in," Crawford said.
The non-All-Star shortstop hiked his team-leading RBI total to 58 one inning later with a two-out single.
Costly error: Lamb has been outstanding at the plate this year, but it hasn't been as smooth for him in the field. With two outs in the third, he fielded a Posey grounder and fired over the head of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. One run scored on the error, and instead of the inning being over, Crawford followed with an RBI single to give the Giants a 4-2 lead.
"The error did hurt us at that point," Hale said. "[Corbin] makes a good pitch to get him and [Lamb] just throws it away. So those are things we have to tighten up. If you don't play fundamentally sound baseball it's really hard to win in this league, especially against a team as good as the Giants."
"What kept him out of it got me in, so it's hard to say anything bad about the fan vote. That's probably why he's not there right now. It sucks, honestly. He should be there. It would have been fun to play with him. He's been kind of a batterymate for me in the infield." -- Giants All-Star first baseman Brandon Belt, on Crawford's omission from the All-Star team
D-backs:Robbie Ray will make his second straight start against the Giants when he takes the mound Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. MST at AT&T Park. Ray faced the Giants on Sunday and did not get a decision after allowing four runs in six innings.
Giants: Right-hander Jake Peavy, who has recorded a 2.48 ERA in his last five starts after compiling a 6.41 ERA in his first 12 outings, will try to sustain his surge in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT rematch against the D-backs. Peavy is 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA at AT&T Park this season, compared with 1-5, 6.64 on the road.
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