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Gillaspie's homer revives Giants' chances

July 22, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- Conor Gillaspie picked a dramatic moment for his first home run of the season.Gillaspie's towering shot to right field, which measured 384 feet by Statcast™, helped the Giants cap a three-run ninth-inning rally Friday. Though the Giants lost, 12-9, to the Padres in 11 innings, Gillaspie's blast

SAN FRANCISCO -- Conor Gillaspie picked a dramatic moment for his first home run of the season.
Gillaspie's towering shot to right field, which measured 384 feet by Statcast™, helped the Giants cap a three-run ninth-inning rally Friday. Though the Giants lost, 12-9, to the Padres in 11 innings, Gillaspie's blast infused life back into AT&T Park on an otherwise inconsistent night from the Giants.
"We couldn't have had a bigger hit than what we got from Conor," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "... It was quite a comeback there. It's a shame we couldn't win."
All with two outs, the Giants began their push. Buster Posey walked, Brandon Crawford singled to score the All-Star catcher and Gillaspie entered in place of reliever Steven Okert. Gillaspie then punched an 84 mph slider to the sky -- over the 25-foot porch -- off Padres closer Brandon Maurer to force extras. It was an improbable end to an inning that saw the Padres push the Giants to their final out.

Later, Gillaspie said tying the game by way of a homer wasn't his goal when he stepped to the plate.
"Just tried to put a good swing on it," Gillaspie said. "Just tried to swing at strikes. That's the hardest thing to do coming off the bench."
Gillaspie, like many Giants this season, has spent time on the disabled list. Back spasms have twice sidelined the 30-year-old -- once in May and again in June. But Friday looked to be Gillaspie's night, his time to be the latest pinch-hit hero.
That is, until Giants reliever George Kontos allowed three runs in the 11th. Unlike the ninth, the Giants didn't have an answer that time around.
"It's tough right now; we just couldn't pull it out tonight," Gillaspie said. "We've been fighting every night. Things just haven't fallen our way."

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.