Aug 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) celebrates his home run with third base coach Roberto Kelly (39) during the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Exciting? You bet it was! And I’m not talking about exciting like a little dust-up amongst players—I’m talking an exciting game of baseball. It was like the tug-of-war game I talked about the other day–only this time when the teams pulled the rope their way, they scored runs. Lots and lots of runs.
Cole Hamels, one of the big jewels in the trade deadline crown, pitched his first game as a Ranger. He was as advertised: an All-Star veteran. For the first two innings anyway. The third inning the Giants hitters turned him into a good old, garden variety major league pitcher. The kind that gives up hits.
Hamels held the Giants hitless through two innings. Brandon Belt, a Texas native, had a bunch of friends and family in the stands. In the third inning he gave them something to cheer about. He led off the inning with a solo homerun. And then the hits just kept coming.
Brandon Crawford followed Belt with a double, Joe Panik doubled Crawford home, and Matt Duffy hit a single, and while the Rangers were trying to sort Panik out, Duffy attempted to make it a double and got caught, ending the inning. At least he got an RBI out of it.
That put the Giants one run over the Rangers who scored two runs in the first. The Giants held the lead until the bottom of the fourth when the Rangers scored one, tying the game. Texas pulled ahead again, scoring two more runs in the sixth, giving them a two run lead.
The Giants scored another run in the seventh, Posey led off the inning with a solo home run, closing the gap from a two run lead to a one run lead. But, of course, Texas would not take it lying down, in the Texas half of the inning, they scored another two runs and stretched it to a three run lead.
The Giants weren’t going to be pushovers either. They had enough magic left in them to score three runs in the eighth–the magic wandoo inning. With two outs, Panik, Duffy and Posey hit doubles–Panik reached on a double, Duffy doubled Panik home, Posey doubled scoring Duffy, and Hunter Pence hit a single plating Posey and tying the game.
And it stayed tied through the tenth inning.
Belt did it, Buster did it, so in the 11th Hunter Pence did too–led off the inning with a solo home run, breaking the tie. Belt did it again–he hit another solo home run, giving the Giants a four home run night, their first of the season. Santiago Casilla kept the Rangers scoreless in the bottom of the inning. The final score was: Giants 9, Rangers 7
The only bad news Saturday was Chris Heston’s outing. it wasn’t his best. He pitched four and 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. After that the bullpen took over, seven pitchers shared the remaining pitches.
It was a hard-fought, exciting game.
Next: Mike Leake debuts in rubber match