In a back-and-forth game, the Giants overcame a shaky start by Ryan Vogelsong to take Game one against the Phillies 7-4.
San Francisco scratched across the first run of the game, giving Vogelsong his first run of support since June 21. Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse led off the top of the second with back-to-back singles, and Gregor Blanco delivered a two-out single to score Sandoval. Morse was thrown out at the plate, but the Giants were on the board 1-0.
The lead didn’t last long, as Philadelphia took it back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Cody Asche and Cameron Rupp had back-to-back singles of their own before Jimmy Rollins delivered a two-out, two-run single. The Giants refused to stay behind, however. Vogelsong helped his own cause with a lead-off single in the third, and Hunter Pence added a single of his own. Marco Scutaro bunted them into scoring position, and both runners scored on a single by Buster Posey, making it 3-2.
But the bottom of the fourth proved to be the undoing of Vogelsong, and the Giants surrendered the lead once again. Grady Sizemore led off with a single, and Jimmy Rollins reached when Brandon Crawford dropped a perfectly good throw from Sandoval. Chase Utley singled to load the bases with nobody out before Ryan Howard dropped a check-swing bloop into left field to score two and give the Phillies back the lead. And with that, Vogelsong exited the game. The Giants right hander lasted just three-plus innings, surrendered 11 hits, – a career-high – four runs (three earned), no walks, and struck out three. He threw 82 pitches, 51 strikes, and left the game with runners on the corners and nobody out.
Enter newly recalled George Kontos (2-0, 2.70), who struck out Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown looking before getting Asche to fly out to right to end the inning and keep the score 4-3.
Then came the top of the sixth, and the persistent Giants offense from earlier in the season roared to life. Morse led off with a single before rookie Adam Duvall, who also joined the team on Monday, crushed a two-run home run to give San Francisco back the lead. It was the first hit of the game that went for extra bases (the first 21 were all singles), and it was Duvall’s second Major League homer of the year, his first coming during his Major League debut back on June 26th. It also knocked Phillies ace Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.67) out of the game after just 5 2/3 innings. The lefty allowed twelve hits, six earned runs, one walk, and struck out three on 90 pitches (59 strikes).
Two outs later, pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias laced a double and scored on a single by Pence to make it 6-4. The Giants added an insurance run in the top of the eighth when Blanco led off with a walk and Pence tripled him home.
It turns out, though, that the San Francisco bullpen wouldn’t need that extra run. Kontos, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, Jeremy Affeldt, and Santiago Casilla combined to throw the final six innings, giving up three hits and no runs while striking out five.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 earlier on Monday, the two teams remained tied atop the National League West. The Giants will send Yusmeiro Petit (3-3, 3.86), starting in place of the injured Matt Cain, to the mound to face Roberto Hernandez (4-8, 4.22) in Game two on Tuesday evening.