Gordon's error in 9th allows Giants to beat Mariners 4-3
SEATTLE (AP) — Pablo Sandoval hustled out of the box, and once the ball trickled past pitcher Edwin Diaz, he knew there was a chance of reaching base to keep San Francisco's ninth-inning rally alive.
In this case, a hustling Panda was speedy enough for the Giants — with a little help from a bad throw by Seattle second baseman Dee Gordon.
Steven Duggar scored from second base on Gordon's throwing error, giving the Giants a 4-3 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night.
Sandoval came up as a pinch-hitter with two outs and Duggar at second after a one-out single off Diaz. Duggar advanced to second when Alen Hanson grounded to the mound.
Sandoval hit a slow roller toward second base on a 1-2 pitch from Diaz (0-3) that Gordon charged from the outfield grass. Sandoval was going to beat the play, but Gordon still tried a rushed throw that first baseman Ryon Healy was unable to handle. As the ball bounced toward the Seattle dugout, Duggar scored.
"Guys are busting their butt trying to make a play there at the end of the game, can't fault anybody for that, we just didn't execute it," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Tony Watson (3-3) worked the eighth inning, and Will Smith pitched the ninth for his fourth save to complete a solid night for San Francisco's bullpen. The Giants retired the final 10 batters, including Sam Dyson missing a 9-pitch, 3-stirkeout inning when his 0-2 pitch to Nelson Cruz missed just off the edge.
It was the kind of victory the Giants needed after losing a pair of extra-inning games to Oakland over the weekend.
"It would have been a tough one to lose after those two tough losses in Oakland, so it's good for the guys," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.
Hunter Pence homered for the first time this season after 125 at-bats and in his 50th game. Pence missed 40 games due to a right thumb injury and had yet to find the home run swing that led to 13 homers in each of the past two seasons. Pence's solo shot leading off the sixth thumped off the facade of the second-deck in left field and gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. Chase d'Arnaud and Kelby Tomlinson also had RBI singles for the Giants.
The lead was short as Seattle pulled even in the sixth when pinch-hitter Ben Gamel dropped a two-out single into shallow left field and scored Denard Span.
Seattle expected to have its ace James Paxton returning from the disabled list for the series opener. But Paxton's sore back flared up after throwing a bullpen last weekend, and he remained on the disabled list, leaving the Mariners to scramble for a starter.
The job ended up with Roenis Elias. The lefty pitched well but lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and throwing a season-high 75 pitches.
Seattle had a chance at a big inning in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs. Span's sacrifice fly scored Nelson Cruz, but any big rally was halted when Kyle Seager was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Mike Zunino's single. Seager was sent by third-base coach Scott Brosius but was thrown out by several steps on a good throw by Austin Slater.
"We forced him to make it, and he did. We've taken some chances on the bases this year and Scott has done a really good job, they just made the play tonight," Servais said.
Giants: IF Evan Longoria's rehab stint with Triple-A Sacramento will be extended for a few more days. Longoria was hit by a pitch Sunday and has a triceps contusion, Bochy said. He was sitting out Tuesday but was expected to play Wednesday. Longoria, who suffered a fracture in his left hand last month, started his rehab assignment with Sacramento late last week. ... IF Joe Panik will begin a rehab assignment with Sacramento on Thursday. Panik has been out since July 7 with a groin strain.
Mariners: Servais said the hope with Paxton is that he'll be ready to return to the mound his next turn through the rotation, which would likely be early next week when Seattle returns home to host Houston.
Giants: Lefty Derek Holland (5-8) returns to the rotation with Jeff Samardzija now in his third stint on the disabled list. Holland has made 18 starts in 22 appearances this year, but for the past month has been primarily used out of the bullpen. Holland has been used in relief in four of his past five outings. In his last start on July 10, Holland allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings.
Mariners: Mike Leake (8-6) makes his first start after the All-Star break. Leake went six innings allowing one earned run in his last outing on July 15 against Colorado, but didn't factor in the decision.