SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants conducted a successful search for their missing offense Sunday. And the longer they looked, the more they found.They rediscovered the notion that they could score in different ways, bunching their runs between the third and fifth innings in an 8-5 triumph at AT&T Park. The
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants conducted a successful search for their missing offense Sunday. And the longer they looked, the more they found.
They rediscovered the notion that they could score in different ways, bunching their runs between the third and fifth innings in an 8-5 triumph at AT&T Park. The outcome prevented Milwaukee from sweeping the four-game series.
After batting .213 (20-for-94) in the series' first three games and scoring one run in each of the previous two contests, the Giants finally displayed offensive diversity. They totaled 13 hits and recorded the cycle as a team for the first time since June 8 at Washington.
This performance enabled the Giants to feel good about themselves and believe that Tuesday's looming non-waiver Trade Deadline will prompt the organization to strengthen the roster for the stretch drive, despite deficits of six games in the Wild Card spot and 6 1/2 games in the National League West.
"All year we've been streaky," said catcher Buster Posey, who led the Giants with his first four-hit game since Sept. 15, 2016, against St. Louis. "We'll go out and win eight of 10 and then lose seven of nine. Hopefully, we can get on a hot streak and minimize some of the lulls that we've had."
They capitalized on some untimely Brewers walks, loading the bases on free passes from Junior Guerra in the third inning before Posey clobbered a three-run double that erased Milwaukee's 2-0 lead. It was only the third extra-base hit in 19 games for Posey.
The Giants welcomed such an essential contribution from their renowned six-time All-Star.
"I think you could see the joy in everybody's faces in the dugout that we finally broke through and got a big hit," said bench coach Hensley Meulens, who served as acting manager while Bruce Bochy attended the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown.
San Francisco turned to power one inning later when Gorkys Hernandez homered to straightaway center field in the fourth. It was Hernandez's 12th homer of the season, which ranks second on the club.
The Giants were at their most entertaining in the fifth, when Pablo Sandoval drove in two runs with his first triple -- a standup triple, no less -- since June 14, 2015. One batter later, Sandoval scored on a sacrifice fly but grabbed the back of his leg as he walked to the Giants' dugout. He left in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain.
The prime beneficiary of this offensive outburst was Giants starter Andrew Suarez (4-6), who yielded four runs and eight hits in six innings. The rookie left-hander had to adjust his approach after yielding Ryan Braun's two-run, first inning homer.
"I know there's still a lot of baseball left after that," Suarez said. "I got to make sure to settle down and keep doing my job."
Though Meulens ran the show Sunday, the statistical credit for the Giants' victory went to Bochy, who was in Cooperstown to witness the Hall of Fame inductions of reliever Trevor Hoffman and infielder Alan Trammell. It was Bochy's 1,906th career managerial win, nudging him past Casey Stengel for sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list.
"Really special," Meulens said. "Any time you win a game to pass somebody along the line, you know how great he's been for us. I'd like to personally congratulate him. Too bad he wasn't here to see it himself, but being at the Hall of Fame wasn't a bad place to be today either."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Giants recorded an inning-ending double play in the seventh when Austin Slater, who was inserted at first base an inning earlier, reached over the railing of the first-base photographers' well to snare Jesus Aguilar's foul popup. Avoiding entanglement in the protective netting, Slater wheeled and flipped the ball to reliever Sam Dyson, who covered first base, to double off Christian Yelich. The initial "safe" ruling was overturned following a replay review.
The Giants open a two-game set in San Diego with left-hander Derek Holland (5-8, 3.92 ERA) on the mound. Holland, who was added back into the rotation on July 25, threw six innings of two-run ball (one earned) in his last outing. The left-hander has posted a 2.70 ERA across five starts in June and a 2.74 ERA in 23 innings in July. The Padres will counter with fellow southpaw Eric Lauer (5-7, 5.29). First pitch at Petco Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.