SAN FRANCISCO -- As he watched his game-winning home run sail over the left-field wall in the bottom of the 17th inning to give the Giants a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Giants catcher Buster Posey felt a sense of relief more than anything else.
Having spent the entire game working behind the plate and taking a deflected pitch off the top of his left quad in the top of the 17th, San Francisco's All-Star slugger needed a break.
"I was just glad it was over," Posey said. "It gets to the point when you're playing this many extra innings that your body hurts. There's no way around it. It just hurts. We had some good swings and balls were hit to the wall. Fortunately I got one there that I could handle."
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Posey had singled and struck out in six at-bats before hitting his sixth home run of the season and second in three days. He turned his head toward the Cincinnati dugout briefly as he flipped his bat even before the ball cleared the fence and was greeted at home plate by a mob of his teammates.
The game-winning blast also carried a little historical significance with it.
It was the latest walk-off home run in Major League Baseball since Martin Maldonado's game-winner in the 17th on May 31, 2015, lifted the Milwaukee Brewers over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It also marked the latest that the Giants have won on a walk-off home run in their San Francisco era. Willie Mays had the previous latest homer with his 16th-inning blast July 2, 1963, that lifted the Giants past the Milwaukee Braves.
Posey's fourth career walk-off hit was also his first game-ending home run since Aug. 27, 2014, when he homered to beat Colorado but it was only his second in extra innings. The other came last season against San Diego in the 10th inning on July 16.
"I think Buster had enough," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "That was huge for us -- a much-needed win. If we had lost this one, who knows how that's going to affect us because of all of our struggles. This was a huge win."