PHOENIX — Buster Posey chose a hell of a time to break through with runners in scoring position.
Posey scorched a double to right-center with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning Saturday, breaking a tie and leading the Giants to a 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks. Posey entered the night with just three hits in his previous 30 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The double got the bullpen off the hook on a night when Jake Peavy deserved to put a “W” by his name. Peavy allowed one run in six innings and left with a 3-1 lead.
Denard Span got the Giants off to a quick start, tripling and scoring on Joe Panik’s flare to left. Peavy had a quick first, but ran into trouble in the second when a walk and Matt Duffy error put two on with no outs. Chris Owings lined a double, tying the game and putting two in scoring position, but Peavy struck out Nick Ahmed, caught Patrick Corbin’s bunt, and kick-saved Jean Segura’s liner over toward first for the third out of the inning.
Hunter Pence gave Peavy a lead in the fourth, hitting a low liner over the wall in left for a two-run homer. Peavy never again even flirted with trouble, allowing just two more hits before he was pulled after the top of the sixth. In all, Peavy retired 15 of the final 17 he faced, but he wouldn’t get a win.
The Diamondbacks chipped a run off the lead in the seventh when Derek Law entered. Hunter Strickland gave up two singles and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The Giants loaded the bases ahead of the heart of their lineup in the ninth. Duffy grounded to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, leading to an out at home, but Posey followed with a double off Daniel Hudson, who had not allowed a hit in 27 previous matchups with right-handed hitters.
Cory Gearrin entered in the bottom of the inning and picked up his first save in three years.
Starting pitching report: Peavy’s final line: 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts. In two starts this week, he allowed four earned in 11 innings.
Bullpen report: Josh Osich came on to face Jake Lamb in the seventh, giving him 21 appearances through 39 games. Osich showed why he has been used that often; Lamb topped one about two feet in front of the plate.
At the plate: Denard Span had his first four-hit game as a Giant. He’s 8-for-13 in this series.
In the field: Even in the down times, Peavy has helped himself quite a bit defensively. He’s probably the quickest Giants starter when it comes to fielding bunts, and he made a diving catch of Corbin’s attempt in second. It was a reminder that in a past life (2012) Peavy won a Gold Glove.
Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 32,448 human beings who could barely contain their excitement during the scoreboard game “Floats or Sinks.”
Up next: Matt Cain goes for the sweep.