Gorkys' walk-off hit ends SF's duel with D-backs

August 29th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- Against all logic, sensed victory Tuesday night. There were the Giants, occupants of fourth place in the National League West, facing the division-leading D-backs. There were the Giants, who won their previous two games despite collecting four hits in each, matching zeros with the D-backs on the scoreboard.

The Giants indeed prevailed, 1-0, on pinch-hitter 's RBI single in the ninth inning. San Francisco's fourth consecutive victory came as no surprise to Duggar, who converted his hunch into reality by scoring the lone run.

"There was just this feeling in the dugout that we were going to win this game," said Duggar, who bruised his left shoulder while sliding into second in the ninth. "I got the vibe from everybody. It wasn't vocally said, but I just got the vibe from everybody, the way guys were carrying themselves, the at-bats that we put together late, there was just this sense that we were going to put something together and get out of here."

Trailing Arizona and Colorado by six games with 28 to play, the Giants might run out of time to capitalize fully upon this winning feeling. However, ace emphasized that considering the big picture isn't their business.

"All we can do right now is put our head down and try to win today," said Bumgarner, who tossed seven four-hit innings. "Tomorrow we'll come in and we'll do everything we can do to win the game. We're not going to look behind; we're not going to look ahead. We're going to stay focused on that day and see where we are at the end."

Bumgarner embodied the Giants' effort. Escaping the jams he created, the left-hander limited the D-backs to one hit in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Bumgarner saved his best for last.

opened the sixth with a line drive that caromed so forcefully off the left-field wall that he managed only a single. Bumgarner then walked . One out later, Nick Ahmed singled to load the bases. Then, Giants third baseman cleanly fielded 's grounder and threw home to force out Goldschmidt. Jeff Mathis' lineout to center ended the inning.

With one out in the seventh, Giants left fielder muffed 's unchallenging fly ball for a three-base error. After walking A.J. Pollock, Bumgarner recovered by coaxing Goldschmidt to pop out to second base and getting Escobar to ground out to second.

One inning later, Duggar proved his ability to learn from a mistake. With two outs, Ahmed on second base and Sam Dyson pitching, singled solidly to center. Duggar, who cost the Giants a run by neglecting to relay the ball to the cutoff man during a recent game in Cincinnati, raced to catch up with Peralta's hit before flinging a strike to shortstop . Crawford's throw forced catcher Nick Hundley to leap for the ball, but Hundley grabbed it and tagged out Ahmed as he slid home.

"I don't care if he ever gets a hit," Bumgarner said of Duggar. "I love him in center field."

The Giants needed offense to avoid squandering their defense. They began their winning rally in modest fashion as Duggar drew a one-out walk against . Hundley singled sharply to left field, prompting the D-backs to replace Ziegler with left-hander Jake Diekman. Up came Hernandez, who batted for would-be pinch-hitter . Hernandez singled cleanly to left on the first pitch, scoring Duggar easily.

Hernandez's playing time has decreased sharply in recent weeks, while Slater and Duggar have received increased opportunities to prove themselves. But the inactivity hasn't dulled Hernandez's common sense as a hitter.

"I was thinking, 'You have to look for a pitch in the [strike] zone," Hernandez said. "When he threw the ball, I saw that it was coming into the zone."

The Giants, who climbed back to .500 (67-67), will seek a sweep of the three-game series Wednesday night. San Francisco leads the season series, 10-7.

"I think we play good baseball against them early, and then they seem to have our number," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of the Giants' success against his club. "They came into Chase [Field] and swept us. Certain teams match up with other teams and there's a certain comfort level that works and sometimes it doesn't. This is a tough venue to come into and score runs. It's a pitcher-friendly ballpark most of the time, even though the right field is very short. I can't explain it. I know that we like the way we match up. We just haven't won baseball games."

SOUND SMART

The Giants recorded their 12th shutout win of the season, and their sixth at home. They posted consecutive shutouts for the third time. They blanked the Dodgers in the season's first two games on March 29-30, then throttled the Phillies on June 1-2. The Giants' last three shutouts have come against the D-backs.

UP NEXT

 (6-1, 2.30 ERA) will attempt to strengthen his NL Rookie of the Year Award candidacy when he faces the D-backs in Wednesday's 7:15 p.m. PT series finale at AT&T Park. The right-hander has allowed no more than two runs in each of his last nine starts. His 2.30 ERA leads all rookie pitchers, and his opponents' batting average of .204 ranks second among first-year hurlers. Rodriguez will oppose D-backs right-hander  (13-7, 4.59) who's 5-0 in his last seven road starts.