GI­ANTS WIN IN EX­TRA IN­NINGS

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Kerry Crow­ley

MIL­WAU­KEE — The Gi­ants may have spent four days rest­ing dur­ing the All-Star break, but it wouldn’t come as a shock if there were rest­less nights for play­ers con­fronting un­cer­tain fu­tures.

Af­ter the club won for the sev­enth time in nine games on the fi­nal day of the first half on Sun­day, Gi­ants play­ers seemed to un­der­stand their fate. Win, and the front of­fice might just keep the cur­rent ros­ter to­gether. Lose, and the Gi­ants may have no choice but to sell off vet­eran as­sets and com­pletely shift their at­ten­tion to­ward the fu­ture.

One game won’t force the hand of the team’s de­ci­sion-mak­ers, but the Gi­ants (4248) dis­played re­mark­able power and re­silience through­out a 10-7, 10-in­ning vic­tory over the Brew­ers on Fri­day.

Catcher Buster Posey’s 10th-in­ning grand slam off re­liever Matt Al­bers broke a 6-6 tie and sent the club to its eighth win in its past 10 games. Posey’s fifth ca­reer grand slam and first since July 24, 2015 marked the team’s fifth home run of the game as all 10 of the runs the Gi­ants scored came on home runs.

San Fran­cisco hadn’t hit five home runs in a game since the Gi­ants blasted six on April 23, 2014 at Coors Field, but they needed all five to out­last Mil­wau­kee in Fri­day’s se­ries opener.

The Gi­ants ral­lied from two sep­a­rate deficits on Fri­day in­clud­ing one against hard-throw­ing Brew­ers All-Star Josh Hader who sur­ren­dered a game-ty­ing home run to pinch-hit­ter Tyler Austin in the eighth in­ning and a go-ahead home run to short­stop Bran­don Craw­ford in the top of the ninth.

With San Fran­cisco trail­ing 5-4 in the eighth, Austin drilled a 419-foot op­po­site field home run into the sec­ond deck of the Miller Park bleachers off Hader. Austin’s blast marked the Gi­ants’ third home run of the game, but the team was in need of more of­fense af­ter starter Shaun An­der­son and re­liever Reyes Moronta com­bined to al­low three runs in the bot­tom of the sixth.

Craw­ford pro­vided the ex­tra lift, yank­ing a 378-foot solo shot over the right field wall that gave man­ager Bruce Bochy a chance to put the ball in the hand of closer Will Smith. Smith was a per­fect 23 for 23 in save op­por­tu­ni­ties en­ter­ing Fri­day, but he al­lowed a lead­off triple to Chris­tian Yelich who scored the ty­ing run on a one-hop­per to the right side of the in­field from Mike Mous­takas that sec­ond base­man Joe Panik couldn’t field clean

ly.

Smith wound up earn­ing the vic­tory thanks to Posey’s grand slam while Mark Me­lan­con al­lowed a run and fin­ished off the game in the 10th.

The Gi­ants ini­tially fell be­hind 5-4 af­ter a rough per­for­mance from Moronta, who al­lowed a pair of in­herited run­ners to score and the go-ahead run to cross home as the first five Brew­ers reached base in a three-run in­ning.

The Brew­ers’ rally fol­lowed a pair of Gi­ants home runs as Austin Slater put the club on the board with a two-run home run in the fifth be­fore Evan Lon­go­ria lined his team­lead­ing 13th home run of the sea­son off the left field foul pole to push the Gi­ants ahead 4-2 in the sixth.

Lon­go­ria’s sixth home run in July came against Corbin Burnes, who pitched in re­lief of starter Chase An­der­son. Af­ter en­ter­ing the month with just seven home runs on the year, Lon­go­ria is three shy of match­ing his to­tal of 16 from a sea­son ago.

An­der­son set new ca­reer highs with eight strike­outs and 13 whiffs, in­clud­ing three pun­chouts of Yelich, the reign­ing Na­tional League MVP. The Gi­ants rookie com­pletely dismantled one of the most pol­ished hit­ters in base­ball, rack­ing up six swings and misses on 17 pitches against the NL leader in home runs.

En­ter­ing play on Fri­day, Yelich had struck out three times in one game just once this sea­son, but the An­gels needed two dif­fer­ent pitch­ers to com­bine for three strike­outs against the Brew­ers right fielder on April 9. On Fri­day, An­der­son achieved the feat by him­self and be­came the first pitcher to strike out Yelich three times in the same game since Cleve­land’s Car­los Car­rasco on Septem­ber 2, 2016.

Lon­go­ria’s two-run homer put An­der­son in line for the win, but the right-han­der al­lowed a lead­off walk to catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal and a dou­ble to right cen­ter field to Mous­takas be­fore Bochy called on Moronta to try to get out of the in­ning.

Moronta’s im­plo­sion hurt the Gi­ants and didn’t do any fa­vors for An­der­son’s fi­nal line as the starter was charged with four earned runs in five­plus in­nings. Af­ter al­low­ing three runs or fewer in six con­sec­u­tive starts, An­der­son has now al­lowed four earned runs in each of his past two out­ings.

Af­ter hit­ting a 106-mph li­ne­out di­rectly into the glove of left fielder Ryan Braun in his first at-bat, Slater drilled a 1-2 pitch out to right field off An­der­son to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, mark­ing his sec­ond ca­reer homer at Miller Park.

Slater hit his first ca­reer home run at the sta­dium on June 8, 2017, six days af­ter he made his major league de­but for the Gi­ants in Philadelph­ia. His first ca­reer home run trav­eled 461 feet and re­mains the far­thest of the seven he’s hit in the ma­jors while the two-run shot he hit Fri­day against An­der­son barely snuck over the right field wall at 369 feet.

The Gi­ants right fielder hit just one home run in 74 games for San Fran­cisco last sea­son, but has al­ready matched his ca­reer-high with three in the six games he’s played since earn­ing a call-up on July 1.

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