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Giants Walk It Off against Diamondbacks in Bumgarner’s Return to San Francisco

Giants Diamondbacks

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30 — A 4-for-5 effort from Christian Walker was not enough to stave off a sweep, as a bases-loaded single from LaMonte Wade Jr. in the bottom of the ninth gave the San Francisco Giants a dramatic 5–4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday night. This came in Madison Bumgarner’s first start in front of fans in San Francisco since joining the Diamondbacks before the 2020 season.

In the top of the first, the Diamondbacks feasted on Scott Kazmir. Ketel Marte grounded to short, with Brandon Crawford making a slick play to retire him, but the next five batters all reached base. Right fielder Henry Ramos and center fielder Daulton Varsho each walked. A single by catcher Carson Kelly plated Ramos for the game’s first run. First baseman Christian Walker, up next, hit a fly into the Bermuda Triangle in shallow center. A miscommunication allowed it to drop for a hit, loading the bases for left fielder Pavin Smith. He hit a chopper toward the hole on the right side. Flores backhanded it and flipped to Kazmir, hustling to cover first. Smith won the footrace to the bag, scoring Varsho for a 2–0 lead.

While covering the bag, Kazmir rolled his ankle on the base. This ended his night after facing only six batters. In came Kervin Castro, who, after striking out third baseman Ildemaro Vargas, walked in the Diamondbacks’ third run. The half-inning ended when Madison Bumgarner struck out looking.

Giants Make Diamondbacks Lead Vanish

In the bottom of the inning, the Giants got one run back thanks to a leadoff single by center fielder Austin Slater and a follow-up double by left fielder Darin Ruf. They made it a 3–2 game in the third, when Slater led off with a single, advanced to third on a single by Ruf, and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Buster Posey. When Brandon Crawford led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run, drawing a thunderous roar from the crowd of 27,503, the score was tied at three.

The Diamondbacks regained the lead in the top of the fifth off Johnny Cueto on a leadoff single by Walker and one-out triple by Vargas. That lead did not last long, as Slater once again led off the bottom of the inning with a single. This time he scored on a double by Posey to tie the game at four.

The Diamondbacks threatened in the top of the seventh after a leadoff double by Walker and walk by Smith. However, it went for naught. Pinch-hitter Kole Calhoun popped to third before Perdomo struck out swinging. That brought up pinch-hitter Josh Rojas, who went down as the third out. Rojas argued, since the pitch appeared to be outside, but Marte brought him back to the dugout before he crossed the ejection threshold.

Down to the Wire

The Giants went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, as did both teams in the eighth. Walker poked his fourth hit with one out in the top of the ninth off Tyler Rogers, bringing in Jake McCarthy to pinch-run. After Posey gunned McCarthy down trying to steal second, Smith singled as well. With the pitcher’s spot due up, David Peralta pinch-hit. On the sixth pitch, Peralta hit a dribbler between home and the mound. Rogers got to it in time to retire Peralta on a close play at first.

Joe Mantiply took the hill in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, former Diamondback Wilmer Flores smoked a liner off the wall in left for a double. Steven Duggar came in to pinch-run as second baseman Donovan Solano dug in. With the pitcher’s spot on deck, the Diamondbacks intentionally walked Solano. Up came backup catcher Curt Casali as the pinch-hitter. He fought back from 1–2 to 3–2, fouling off two pitches en route to an eight-pitch walk.

That loaded the bases for “Late Night” LaMonte Wade Jr. With the infield in for a potential play at the plate, Wade bounced the fifth pitch — a 1–2 sinker — off the glove of a diving Pavin Smith at first for a walk-off single. This gave the Giants a 17–2 record against the Diamondbacks in 2021 — the most times they have beaten a single opponent since moving to San Francisco in 1958. It also maintained their two-game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings.

Looking Ahead

Tyler Rogers (7–1) earned the win, while Joe Mantiply (0–3) took the loss, both in relief. With the victory, the Giants have tied their 1905 World Champion squad for the second-highest win total in franchise history. They close the season starting Friday night at 6:45 Pacific against the San Diego Padres (78–81) in a three-game home series. Winning two of those three games will vault the Giants past their 106-win 1904 squad for the most wins in franchise history.

The loss dropped the Diamondbacks record to 9–31 in one-run games. It also made their record 50–109, meaning that they must win two of their three remaining games in order to avoid the worst record in franchise history. Those three games will be at home against the Colorado Rockies (73–85). Game One will feature Diamondbacks righty Humberto Castellanos (2–2, 4.28 ERA) against Rockies right-hander Jon Gray (8–12, 4.28 ERA). First pitch will be at 6:40 pm Arizona Time.

Main Photo:

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Players mentioned:

Christian Walker, LaMonte Wade Jr., Madison Bumgarner, Scott Kazmir. Ketel Marte, Brandon Crawford, Henry Ramos, Daulton Varsho, Carson Kelly, Pavin Smith, Kervin Castro, Ildemaro Vargas, Austin Slater, Darin Ruf, Buster Posey, Johnny Cueto, Kole Calhoun, Josh Rojas, Tyler Rogers, Jake McCarthy, David Peralta, Joe Mantiply, Wilmer Flores, Steven Duggar, Donovan Solano, Curt Casali, Humberto Castellanos, Jon Gray


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