SEATTLE -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy concluded a pregame analysis of his ballclub by stating, "We're looking for offense, that's fair to say."The Giants responded with an unpredictable yet effective effort Tuesday night in their 4-3 Interleague victory over the Seattle Mariners.Pablo Sandoval, who -- undeservedly so -- is not
SEATTLE -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy concluded a pregame analysis of his ballclub by stating, "We're looking for offense, that's fair to say."
The Giants responded with an unpredictable yet effective effort Tuesday night in their 4-3 Interleague victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Pablo Sandoval, who -- undeservedly so -- is not associated with infield hits, dribbled a ninth-inning single toward second base that preceded Dee Gordon's throwing error. That, in turn, enabled Steven Duggar to score the go-ahead run.
From his modest perch in the batting order's No. 9 spot, Kelby Tomlinson sustained the Giants' early offense by tripling and scoring in the third inning and singling home a run in the fourth. Hunter Pence accounted for San Francisco's next run with his first homer of the season, ending a yearlong drought of 125 at-bats by lining a Chasen Bradford delivery off the upper-deck facade in left field to open the sixth inning. The homer traveled a projected 445 feet, according to Statcast™.
This wasn't supposed to happen. The Giants entered the game with a 20-31 road record that generated a National League-worst .392 winning percentage. By contrast, the Mariners owned a 33-18 home record (.647), third-best in the Majors.
However, never underestimate desperation, or the force of a team's will. The Giants were coming off back-to-back one-run, extra-inning losses to Oakland. They wouldn't let themselves fall in that manner again.
"It would have been a tough one to lose," Bochy said.
The Giants were striving to avoid that fate in the ninth as Duggar grounded a single on an 0-2 pitch from Edwin Diaz, Seattle's All-Star closer. Pinch-hitter Alen Hanson's comebacker advanced Duggar to second base.
Up came Sandoval, who tapped a dribbler to the right side. Gordon rushed an off-balance throw that darted wide of first base, enabling Duggar to hustle home.
Mariners manager Scott Servais absolved Gordon from blame: "Guys are busting their butt trying to make a play there at the end of the game. Can't fault anybody for that. We just didn't execute it."
Said Sandoval, "I knew Dee Gordon was playing deep, so I had a pretty good chance to get there."
Sandoval "gets there" much more frequently than people realize. The thickly built third baseman recorded his 78th career infield hit, according to fangraphs.com.
"You have to run hard and respect the game," Sandoval explained.
By contrast, Tomlinson exuberantly described Sandoval's sprint: "He was zooming."
Pence's 445-foot home run was the third-longest by a Giant this season. Mac Williamson's drive that traveled a projected 464 feet against Washington on April 23 remained No. 1. San Francisco's second-longest homer belongs to Sandoval, who hit a 447-foot no-doubter June 6 against Arizona.
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Austin Slater uncorked the most powerful throw by a Giants outfielder since Statcast™'s inception in 2015. In the fourth inning, Slater's peg home following Mike Zunino's single to left field reached catcher Buster Posey on the fly and apprehended Kyle Seager at home plate.
Slater, who's capable of playing all three outfield spots, delivered a throw that traveled 99.6 mph from a distance of 228 feet.
Left-hander Derek Holland will receive the starting assignment for the Giants in Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale against Seattle. Holland replaced Jeff Samardzija, whose shoulder strength remains an issue. In seven daytime appearances, including six starts, Holland is 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He'll oppose right-hander Mike Leake, whose 258-game Major League career includes nine starts (and a 2-5 record) with the Giants down the stretch in 2015.
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.