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Gorkys' grab helps Giants turn tide in Denver

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

DENVER -- The Giants ascended when Gorkys Hernandez took a dive Wednesday night.

Hernandez's lunging catch of Carlos Gonzalez's fifth-inning line drive stranded two runners and helped the Giants seal their 7-4 triumph over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. It preserved a 6-4 edge and everything else that preceded the play, which was a comeback from an immediate 3-0 deficit created by Nolan Arenado's first-inning home run. And it gave purpose to the crucial later innings, when relievers Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Hunter Strickland blanked Colorado for an inning apiece.

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DENVER -- The Giants ascended when Gorkys Hernandez took a dive Wednesday night.

Hernandez's lunging catch of Carlos Gonzalez's fifth-inning line drive stranded two runners and helped the Giants seal their 7-4 triumph over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. It preserved a 6-4 edge and everything else that preceded the play, which was a comeback from an immediate 3-0 deficit created by Nolan Arenado's first-inning home run. And it gave purpose to the crucial later innings, when relievers Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Hunter Strickland blanked Colorado for an inning apiece.

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Video: SF@COL: Stirickland retires Arenado to earn the save

Without Hernandez's catch, San Francisco's rally could have been wasted and the bullpen might not have had a lead to protect.

But the Giants' evening was defined when Hernandez dashed to the sinking baseball and basically met it face-to-face before gloving it.

"That was a turning point," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That ball was crushed."

Said Hernandez, "When the ball went off the bat, I knew I had a chance to catch it." But, he added, "The only chance I had was to dive."

Thus ended a month in which Hernandez established his presence as the Giants' everyday center fielder. He ended May batting .300 after owning a .245 batting average on May 4. He has hit six home runs this season after totaling eight during his previous four Major League campaigns.

Video: SF@COL: Hernandez works a bases-loaded walk in 4th

Meanwhile, the Giants experienced an odd May. They finished 11-16 but gained 1 1/2 games in the National League West standings. They trail division-leading Colorado by four games and can look forward to welcoming back some of their top players from injuries in the near future. The list includes ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner, second baseman Joe Panik, right-hander Mark Melancon and outfielder Hunter Pence.

The Giants, who finished 2-6 on their three-city trip, responded after Arenado's homer gave Colorado an early boost. They forced their way into a 4-4 tie by scoring three runs without benefit of a hit -- on Colorado starter Jon Gray's second-inning wild pitch and bases-loaded walks in the fourth by Hernandez and Buster Posey.

Video: SF@COL: Posey plates Sandoval with a walk in the 4th

Evan Longoria broke the tie for the Giants in the fifth. He lashed his first triple of the year, which scored Brandon Belt, before coming home on Brandon Crawford's single. Crawford sustained his NL Player of the Month candidacy by hitting .412 in May with nine doubles, four homers and 21 RBIs.

Video: SF@COL: Crawford smacks an RBI single to left field

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Statcast™ proved just how remarkable Hernandez's big defensive play really was. It met Statcast™'s standards for a four-star catch, and it protected San Francisco's 6-4 lead by stranding runners on first and second base. Hernandez's play had a 48 percent catch probability and required him to cover 50 feet in 3.5 seconds.

HE SAID IT
"I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Four runs in Colorado is not that bad, if you think about it. It was a great team win, although it was kind of ugly on my part." -- Giants left-hander Derek Holland, who earned the decision with a five-inning effort

UP NEXT
Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will entertain the Phillies for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday at 7:15 p.m. PT. The Phillies outscored the Giants, 32-8, while sweeping a four-game series at Philadelphia from May 7-10. The opener will be a right-handers confrontation between San Francisco's Chris Stratton and Philadelphia's Nick Pivetta.

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.

San Francisco Giants, Gorkys Hernandez