Saturday evening, the SF Giants and their fans celebrated one of the best players in franchise history, Will "The Thrill" Clark, by retiring his #22 jersey before their third game of four with the visiting Chicago Cubs.
Then the current iteration of orange and black-clad ballplayers took the field and thrilled those at Oracle Park with an offensive outburst, putting up just enough runs to survive a late comeback by the Cubs and finish a 5-4 win.
With a 5-1 lead entering the ninth, Gabe Kapler felt safe enough to leave in reliever Yunior Marte, who had finished a dangerous seventh inning before pitching a perfect eighth.
Marte did not record an out in the ninth, hitting the leadoff hitter before being victimized by weak contact on a slowly-hit infield single.
Dominic Leone, who hadn't allowed a run while pitching in both of the previous two games in the series, replaced Marte and also had some trouble. A single loaded the bases with no outs, then a ground ball to emergency shortstop Jason Vosler was hit too slowly to get a force at second and a run scored without an out being recorded.
A pair of ground balls to Vosler then recorded outs, one on a force at second and the other at first base, but runs scored on both to pull Chicago within one. Finally, with the potential tying run in scoring position, Leone induced a game-ending groundout to second base.
Jakob Junis was the starter for the Giants, and he had to deal with baserunners in all four innings he pitched. The Cubs loaded the bases in the first before a pop-out ended the frame, and in the second a throwing error allowed the leadoff batter to reach before Junis got two quick outs and then picked off the runner.
The visitors put runners on second and third with one out in the third, but again Junis buckled down and kept them from scoring.
In the home half of the third, the Giants got on the scoreboard as Austin Slater doubled in Darin Ruf and then scored on a Yermin Mercedes base hit.
SF Giants go back-to-back to add to lead
San Francisco struck quickly to extend their lead in the fourth, as David Villar singled and scored on a Luis Gonzalez home run, followed by Joey Bart going yard on the very next pitch to make it 5-0.
Chicago scored their first run in the seventh with three singles off Jarlin Garcia before Marte was brought in to finish the frame.
A scary moment occurred in the bottom of the fifth, when Thairo Estrada - the only shortstop on the active roster thanks to multiple injuries - was hit in the head by a pitch. He stayed down for a few minutes then was helped off the field and left the game.
Having taken two of three in the series, including winning the first game on a strong start by Alex Wood, the Giants will attempt to take the four-game set and get back to a .500 record with a Sunday afternoon matchup featuring Carlos Rodon on the hill.