SAN FRANCISCO — After hitting his first homer in two months, Buster Posey hopped down the dugout steps and found himself confronted with the silent treatment. It was the rare still moment on an otherwise raucous night.
The Giants crushed the Cardinals 8-2, putting up a six-run third as AT&T Park shook like it did in the first half. The win allowed the Giants to keep pace with the Dodgers in the National League West and added another full game of distance on the Cardinals in the Wild Card standings. After taking the first two games of this crucial series, the Giants lead the Mets by a game and the Cardinals by three.
This one started quietly, with young Luke Weaver striking out the side in the first inning. He wouldn’t make it out of the third. The Giants sent 12 batters to the plate in the six-run inning, taking full advantage of a Yadier Molina error that wiped out a potential double play. Posey poked a two-run flare to right during the onslaught, and an inning later he finally ended his long streak without a homer.
Posey’s previous blast came July 16 in San Diego, but he crushed a Jaime Garcia two-seamer out to left-center to give the Giants an 8-1 lead. The homer ended a streak of 184 at-bats without putting one over the wall, the longest of Posey’s career. The Giants originally gave him the silent treatment and then mobbed him near the bat rack. A relieved looking Posey flashed an emphatic thumbs-up to a dugout camera.
Even with a blowout forming, Matt Moore nearly didn’t qualify for the win. Moore gave up a run in the fourth and walked Molina with the bases loaded and two down in the fifth. Bruce Bochy jogged out to the mound and gave Moore a short pep talk. A fly ball to center ended the threat. The bullpen handled it from there.
Starting pitching report: Moore had an up-and-down night. He also learned that the Bochy Jog means you’re not coming out … yet.
Bullpen report: Deposed closer Santiago Casilla pitched the eighth and looked good. He struck out two.
At the plate: Posey entered the series in an 11-for-57 slide, but he has seven hits in nine at-bats against the Cardinals.
In the field: Brandon Crawford went deep into the hole for a grounder in the seventh and then spun and fired a perfect throw to second. It will not be on any highlight reels because he made it look so easy.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,278 human beings who celebrated Chris Pine.
Up next: Jeff Samardzija faces Mike Leake, who might still be a Giant if not for Jeff Samardzija.