The Giants walloped a pair of grand slams en route to an 8-4 win over the D-backs in the final game before the All-Star break at AT&T Park. It was just the third time in San Francisco Giants history that they hit two grand slams in a game.
Early on, it looked like Vidal Nuno, acquired last weekend from the Yankees, might be on his way to another outstanding performance as the D-backs grabbed a 1-0 lead off Madison Bumgarner (10-7).
"I thought he threw the ball well," catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said of Nuno. "Just as good as the previous outing. He did what he does; he mixed all of his pitches, threw everything, located to both sides of the plate and tried to keep guys off balance. I thought we did that today."
All of that disappeared quickly in the fifth inning.
Bumgarner got the rally started with a one-out double and Nuno then hit Hunter Pence with a pitch. One out later, Pablo Sandoval hit a grounder to the hole at short. Third baseman Martin Prado made a nice diving stop, but his throw to first pulled Paul Goldschmidt off the bag.
So rather than the inning being over, the bases were loaded and Buster Posey quickly unloaded them when he smacked a 1-0 pitch into the left-field bleachers for a 4-1 San Francisco lead.
"It was just one of those innings that I want to take back, but it is what it is," Nuno said. "I wanted a two-seam [fastball], but it just ran over the plate and [Posey] took it out."
One inning later, reliever Matt Stites allowed a single to start the frame, and the next batter, Ehire Adrianza, reached when shortstop Nick Ahmed could not hang on to a popup as he slid for it.
Stites then walked Brandon Crawford to fill the bases, and Bumgarner wiped them clean with his second grand slam of the season to give the Giants an 8-1 lead.
As Bumgarner walked to the plate, Gosewisch strolled to the mound to remind Stites about Bumgarner's prowess at the plate.
"Everyone knows he's a good hitter," Gosewisch said. "We were just trying to go first-pitch fastball down and away, because a lot of times first pitch he's trying to get the head out and turn on the ball. We knew that, and I thought we had a good chance of throwing a fastball down and away instead of a slider. Just ran back over. Obviously hindsight maybe we throw a different pitch, but if it's located down and away, I think we're OK. After that, we would have gone right to a slider. That was my plan. He just did a good job with it. He was ready for a pitch to hit, he got it and did some damage."
Bumgarner became just the second pitcher in Major League history to hit two grand slams in the same season, joining Atlanta's Tony Cloninger, who hit two in the same game on July 3, 1966.
"That's pretty impressive," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He gets the bat out front out there, he gives you good at-bats and that's something that wins games for you when these pitchers can help themselves."
The D-backs did fight back in the seventh as they scored three runs, two of which came on Cody Ross' second homer of the year.
But overall, it was a game the D-backs would just as soon forget. In addition to the errors, Ender Inciarte made a couple of baserunning mistakes.
By contrast, the Giants turned in a crisp game defensively, with Sandoval making a nice diving play at third and Pence running down a Goldschmidt drive just in front of the right-field wall that would have scored a run.
"Just look at the first six innings," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We made a lot of mistakes. Made a couple of errors, made a couple of baserunning mistakes and gave up a couple of home runs there. We just weren't able to overcome that. We made too many mistakes today. On the other side, they played pretty good baseball. They didn't walk anybody. That's how you get beat."