Seven innings from Ryan Vogelsong and a literal walk-off led to the San Francisco Giants managing to pull out a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night. As Marco Scutaro said, “A win is a win. It doesn’t matter how you do it.”
Vogelsong got off to a shaky start, hitting Shane Victorino and allowing two singles before giving up a run on a sacrifice fly. After that, however, Vogelsong was able to limit the damage and get out of the inning with just one run for Boston.
“Even when Rags and Buster came out, the conversation was make your pitches, and that’s what I did,” said Vogelsong.
A third-inning home run from Shane Victorino was the last run Vogelsong allowed. In his third start after his return from the disabled list, he threw 103 pitches through seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs while walking one and striking out five.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he said improvement with Vogelsong’s command, adding, “He’s a guy that, even when his velocity was up a little bit, he’s a guy that has to hit his spots, and he did.”
Brandon Belt continued his hot August with a triple over the head of Victorino, who at the time, looked much more uncomfortable in left field than at the plate. In spite of a leadoff triple and chances for Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford to make something happen, the Giants stranded Belt at third to keep the Giants scoreless.
San Francisco finally pushed a run across the board in the fifth inning, when Roger Kieschnick hit his second single of the night and scored on a triple from Joaquin Arias. Once again, though, the Giants failed to capitalize on a runner at third with no outs. San Francisco’s offense later left Belt on second after a leadoff double.
In case you hadn’t noticed with this game story, Brandon Belt has been dialed in lately. After going 3-for-4 today, just a home run shy of the cycle, Belt is batting .379 (25-for-66) with 13 extra base hits this month. He stood in the on-deck circle during Scutaro’s at-bat in the ninth inning, even though it wasn’t possible for him to get to the plate at that point.
Kieschnick also had a good night, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a new career high of three hits. Bochy acknowledged his success but wouldn’t go into the impact the game would have on Kieschnick’s playing time once the other prospects join the team in September.
In true Giants fashion, a win didn’t come simply. In the ninth inning, San Francisco loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit by pitch on a 95mph fastball.
Bochy said he thought the recipient of that hit-by-pitch, Hector Sanchez, was fine, and that Pablo Sandoval may need another day after being scratched from the lineup before the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Brayan Villarreal came into the game for the Red Sox then proceeded to walk Scutaro on four pitches, leading to one of the most anticlimactic ways to walk-off in a game. Still, Bochy noted that it was nice to be on the winning side of things.
“You take it any way you can get it, and this was a good one,” said Bochy. “We were disappointed last night, how we played, so it was good to bounce back and get a win.”
Vogelsong agreed, saying, “It’s nice to win one like this because we’ve been on the other side of it. It’s good to come out on the winning end – you bust your butt for three hours and have things go your way in the end.”
Tomorrow, Barry Zito will start in place of the injured Chad Gaudin, taking on Felix Doubront in the Giants and Red Sox’s final game of this interleague series. It will be Zito’s first start since July 30 in Philadelphia. First pitch at 12:45pm.