Giants surge to victory off Phillies' bullpen
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Duffy smacked a two-run triple as part of the Giants' five-run sixth inning Saturday night to help San Francisco come from behind to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-5, at AT&T Park.
Ryan Vogelsong, who allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings, served up home runs to Ryan Howard and Cody Asche in the top of the sixth. But the Giants answered right back in the bottom half with Angel Pagan's two-run double, Duffy's triple, and Buster Posey's RBI single.
"These guys have been champions for a reason," Howard said of the Giants. "Champions don't quit. They get down early and these guys just continue to fight."
David Buchanan, who made his first appearance in the Majors since April 30, fired five innings of one-run ball, only to watch his successors squander a three-run lead.
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Rally time: The Giants couldn't get much going against Buchanan but were able to feast on the Phillies' bullpen during the big outburst in the sixth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Pagan started off the scoring by roping a two-run double down the right-field line. After Joe Panik walked, Duffy put the Giants ahead with his two-run triple to right-center. Posey capped off the barrage by poking through a soft single to right to drive home Duffy.
"To kind of pick [Vogelsong] up there, it's a pretty good feeling," Duffy said. "Any time you get a comeback win, it's a big boost." More >
Howard goes deep: Howard stepped to the plate with no one on and two outs in the sixth and drove a 1-1 curveball to right-center field that barely cleared the "Levi's Landing" sign. Replay officials took a second look at the play and determined the ball hit the green roofing above the brick wall, confirming the call on the field of a home run. Howard's homer, his 15th of the season, gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
Big pitch: Giants reliever George Kontos only threw one pitch Saturday night but it was an important one. With a 6-4 lead, manager Bruce Bochy summoned Kontos from the bullpen with two outs in the seventh and runners on second and third. Maikel Franco swung at the first pitch, cueing the ball toward first base, but Kontos scooped the ball and beat Franco to the bag to end the inning. Kontos has not allowed any of his 25 inherited runners to score this year.
"That's why I put him out there," Bochy said. "He's been really good in that situation."
Splash zone: Two batters after Howard's blast, Phillies left fielder Cody Asche chased Vogelsong from the game with a two-run bomb that landed with a splash in McCovey Cove. The homer stretched the Phillies' lead to 4-1, which the Philadelphia bullpen could not hold.
"You score five runs and get nine hits, you should win those games," interim Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You have to win those games."
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With Saturday's loss, the Phillies lost their 61st game of the season, the most losses the team has had before the All-Star break since 1997. Philadelphia is the first team to lose that many games before the break since the Houston Astros in 2011 (30-62).
Phillies: The Phillies send Chad Billingsley (1-2, 6.67) to the mound as they attempt to take the series finale Sunday at 4:05 ET. The right-hander is coming off a 7-2 win over the Dodgers, his former team, in which he threw six innings of two-run ball. Billingsley is 8-6 with a 3.16 ERA against the Giants in his career.
Giants: Chris Heston (8-5, 3.51) has been a big surprise for the Giants rotation and he'll try to wrap up the first half of the season on a high note against the Phillies in Sunday's series finale at 1:05 p.m. PT. Heston, who has tossed three straight quality starts, has never faced the Phils.
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