San Francisco Takes Advantage of Giant Inning; Giants 5, Indians 3
Mike B. | On 26, Apr 2014
Baseball, like any sport, is a game of taking advantage of opportunities. Today, the San Francisco Giants made the most of their one opportunity while the Cleveland Indians squandered several chances to blow the game open early.
The Indians tallied runs in the first, third and fifth innings, but could have scored more in each frame. They stranded nine runners on base in the game and were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in contest. Zach McAllister looked in complete control, allowing just one hit in the first four innings, but San Francisco was able to take full advantage with a four-run fifth inning. The Giants never looked back, defeating the Indians 5-3 Saturday afternoon.
Cleveland struck quickly in the top of the first inning against Giants starter, Tim Lincecum. Michael Bourn doubled to center field to start the game and Jason Kipnis singled him home an out later to put the Tribe up 1-0 before the Giants came to bat.
In the third inning Kipnis drove in another run on a ground out. Nick Swisher doubled to left field to start the inning and advanced to third base on a passed ball. Kipnis grounded out to second base to bring in Swisher and extend the lead to 2-0.
But the most golden of opportunities came in the fifth inning. Bourn singled to start the inning and Swisher doubled him home to make it 3-0, with a runner in scoring position and no one out. Kipnis grounded out to first base to advance Swisher to third base, but Santana grounded out and the runner could not score. After Lincecum walked Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases, Giants manager summoned Juan Gutierrez from the bullpen. Gutierrez (1-1) came on and struck out Yan Gomes with the bases loaded, keeping the Indians from a big inning.
However, the Giants took advantage of their opportunity when it presented itself in the bottom half of the fifth inning. McAllister had allowed a double to Angel Pagan in the first inning before setting down the next 12 hitters in a row. But the Giants sent nine to the plate in the inning and scored four to take the lead. Michael Morse singled to start the inning and an out later Brandon Crawford followed with a hit to put a pair on. After Brandon Hicks walked, pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco singled in a run and Pagan hit a sacrifice fly to cut the Giants’ deficit to 3-2.
But with two outs, Hunter Pence came through where Gomes could not and singled to right field and plated a pair. San Francisco took a 4-3 lead and never looked back. McAllister’s (3-1) afternoon was done after just five innings. The first four were stellar, but his final line was a clouding five innings, allowing four runs, on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
C.C. Lee came on in relief of McAllister in the sixth inning and allowed a solo home run to Buster Posey. Posey’s fifth home run of the season helped break him out of an early season slump and give the Giants their final tally at 5-3. Josh Outman finished the sixth inning and Bryan Shaw pitched the last two innings to try and hold the beleaguered Tribe bullpen together.
Sergio Romo pitched the ninth inning for San Francisco, earning his sixth save of the season. Cleveland did not tally a hit in the four and one-third innings against the Giants’ bullpen. Jean Machi and Jeremy Affeldt bridged the gap from Gutierrez to Romo after Lincecum’s exit.
The Indians will try to salvage a win in the three game series on Sunday afternoon. Danny Salazar (0-3, 7.85) will try to rectify his season and keep the Indians from being swept out of the Bay Area. He’ll be opposed by Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 7.71) of the Giants. The game is slated to begin at 4:05 p.m. from AT&T Park on Sunday.
Photo: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images