Pence sparks Giants' comeback win vs. Texas
ARLINGTON -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence tied the score with an RBI single in the eighth and then hit a go-ahead home run in the 11th, providing the force behind a 9-7 Giants win over the Rangers on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
Pence helped the Giants spoil the Rangers debut of Cole Hamels, who threw 7 2/3 innings, striking out six and allowing five earned runs in a no-decision. The Rangers were up, 7-4, when Hamels left the game, but the Giants rallied in the eighth to tie the game. Buster Posey helped lead the charge with three hits, including a home run, and Brandon Belt hit a pair of shots to record his second career multi-homer game.
The Giants scored five runs with two outs, hiking their season total in those situations to a Major League-high 199. That's also 44 percent of their overall total.
"There's definitely a lot of confidence in the offense right now," Pence said. Added Belt, "We feel like the inning's never over until the last out."
Sam Dyson took the loss for the Rangers, ending a three-game winning streak. The Giants won for the 15th time in 19 games and improved to 5-2 in extra-inning games this season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Not to be forgotten: The late long balls by Pence and Belt threatened to obscure another big night for Posey, who's batting .423 (44-for-104) in his last 27 games. He collected two hits off Hamels and is now batting .481 (13-for-27) in his career off him.
Big-hit Bobby: Hamels wasn't the only Ranger with a noteworthy club debut. Catcher Bobby Wilson, whom the Rangers picked up on a waiver claim Friday, had two RBI singles. The first came when he laced a line drive to left field on a 3-1 count in the fourth to tie the game at 3. The second was in the sixth, when Wilson hit a bloop that fell in over second base on an 0-2 count. It gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead. More >
Early departure: Giants starter Chris Heston worked 4 2/3 innings, his shortest effort since he lasted 3 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh 10 starts ago on June 2. This forced manager Bruce Bochy to begin exhausting his bullpen earlier than usual, which could have altered the game's rhythm in the Rangers' favor.
Heston, who threw 93 pitches, felt he had reached his physical limit.
"I knew the pitch count was getting up there," he said.
Scheppers struggles: Hamels left the game with two outs in the eighth after allowing a double to Giants second baseman Joe Panik. Tanner Scheppers entered with the Rangers ahead by three runs, but allowed doubles to Matt Duffy and Posey before Pence's single tied the game at 7. Jake Diekman replaced Scheppers and struck out Gregor Blanco to end the inning. More >
"You break two bats and you take that inning any day of the week, really," Scheppers said. "They ended up finding holes. It's definitely frustrating. I'm really getting sick of it, and I know the fans are. Just got to come out tomorrow, dust it off and do it again."
"It's mind-blowing. You don't how to prepare, you don't know what type of reception [you're going to get]. You obviously want to go out there and throw a no-hitter, but I'm out there trying to do what I can. Getting that sort of ovation from the fans, it's hard to describe because it's the ultimate excitement." -- Hamels on getting a standing ovation.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rangers sold more than 8,500 tickets for Saturday's game after the trade with Philadelphia for Hamels was announced at 11 a.m. CT on Friday.
In the seventh inning, Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo hit a ground ball to Panik at second base. Panik flipped to shortstop Brandon Crawford at the bag, who then fired to first attempting to turn a double play. The ball hit Belt's glove, but he dropped it as Choo crossed the base. Choo was initially ruled out, but the call was overturned after a 40-second review and Belt was charged with an error.
Giants: Posey will be back behind the plate in Sunday's 12:05 p.m. PT series finale against Texas so he can get acclimated to right-hander Mike Leake, who's making his Giants debut. Also expect left fielder Nori Aoki, who rested Saturday, to return to the lineup.
Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez (0-2, 10.50 ERA) pitches in the series finale Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CT. Perez went only one inning and allowed eight earned runs in his last start Tuesday against the Yankees.
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