Buster Posey’s slam in 10th powers Giants past Brewers
MILWAUKEE — The Giants may have spent four days resting during the All-Star break, but it wouldn’t come as a shock if there were restless nights for players confronting uncertain futures.
After the club won for the seventh time in nine games on the final day of the first half on Sunday, Giants players seemed to understand their fate. Win, and the front office might just keep the current roster together. Lose, and the Giants may have no choice but to sell off veteran assets and completely shift their attention toward the future.
One game won’t force the hand of the team’s decision-makers, but the Giants (42-48) displayed remarkable power and resilience throughout a 10-7, 10-inning victory over the Brewers on Friday.
Catcher Buster Posey’s 10th-inning grand slam off reliever Matt Albers broke a 6-6 tie and sent the club to its eighth win in its past 10 games. Posey’s fifth career grand slam and first since July 24, 2015 marked the team’s fifth home run of the game as all 10 of the runs the Giants scored came on home runs.
San Francisco hadn’t hit five home runs in a game since the Giants blasted six on April 23, 2014 at Coors Field, but they needed all five to outlast Milwaukee in Friday’s series opener.
The Giants rallied from two separate deficits on Friday including one against hard-throwing Brewers All-Star Josh Hader who surrendered a game-tying home run to pinch-hitter Tyler Austin in the eighth inning and a go-ahead home run to shortstop Brandon Crawford in the top of the ninth.
With San Francisco trailing 5-4 in the eighth, Austin drilled a 419-foot opposite field home run into the second deck of the Miller Park bleachers off Hader. Austin’s blast marked the Giants’ third home run of the game, but the team was in need of more offense after starter Shaun Anderson and reliever Reyes Moronta combined to allow three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Crawford provided the extra lift, yanking a 378-foot solo shot over the right field wall that gave manager Bruce Bochy a chance to put the ball in the hand of closer Will Smith. Smith was a perfect 23 for 23 in save opportunities entering Friday, but he allowed a leadoff triple to Christian Yelich who scored the tying run on a one-hopper to the right side of the infield from Mike Moustakas that second baseman Joe Panik couldn’t field cleanly.
Smith wound up earning the victory thanks to Posey’s grand slam while Mark Melancon allowed a run and finished off the game in the 10th.
The Giants initially fell behind 5-4 after a rough performance from Moronta, who allowed a pair of inherited runners to score and the go-ahead run to cross home as the first five Brewers reached base in a three-run inning.
The Brewers’ rally followed a pair of Giants home runs as Austin Slater put the club on the board with a two-run home run in the fifth before Evan Longoria lined his team-leading 13th home run of the season off the left field foul pole to push the Giants ahead 4-2 in the sixth.
Longoria’s sixth home run in July came against Corbin Burnes, who pitched in relief of starter Chase Anderson. After entering the month with just seven home runs on the year, Longoria is three shy of matching his total of 16 from a season ago.