PHOENIX — By the end of Friday’s game, the Diamondbacks had used 12 pitchers and Cory Gearrin had played left field for the Giants. But hey, the Giants needed a win any way they could get one, and this one ended up being big. It didn’t matter that it was bizarre.
Kelby Tomlinson drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the top of the 12th, and after twice giving back the lead, the Giants’ bullpen finally held on for a 7-6 victory over the Diamondbacks. Gearrin came on in the 12th and moved to the outfield for a batter so the Giants could play the matchups. He returned to the mound and moved the tying run into scoring position before closing it out.
With the win, the Giants gained a game on the Dodgers and stayed atop the Wild Card standings. All it took was five hours of mostly tense baseball.
Rubby De La Rosa, fresh off the DL, lasted just two innings in his return to the rotation, but the Giants still fell behind 4-1. Madison Bumgarner gave up a two-run blast to Drury with two outs in the second inning. With two down in the third, Kyle Jensen picked up his first career hit in a big way, lining a fastball into the seats for another two-run shot.
Bumgarner settled in and the Giants chipped away. Joe Panik and Eduardo Nuñez drove in runs in the fourth, and the bottom half of the lineup got going again two innings later. Hunter Pence led off the sixth with an infield single that placed him on second after a throwing error. Pence scored on Brandon Belt’s single to left.
Bumgarner struck out six of the next 12 after the Jensen homer, and he was soon in position for his 100th big league win. Angel Pagan led off the seventh with a soaring homer to left, his 10th of the season. The Diamondbacks would tie the game, though.
Chris Hermann walked in the seventh and stole second with two outs. Denard Span got turned around on Chris Owings’ fly to deep center, and it clanked off his glove. One run scored easily on the error, but Owings was thrown out as he went for an inside-the-park homer. Brandon Crawford made a strong throw from shallow center and Buster Posey put down an athletic tag.
Pence took over as the night got long. He made an incredible sliding catch up against the fence to rob Mitch Haniger of extra bases in the ninth, and then doubled with one on in the 10th. Pence’s fourth hit helped load the bases, and two batters later he scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The Giants could not tack on, and it cost them.
Santiago Casilla got upset earlier in the season when Bruce Bochy pulled him with Jake Lamb coming up, but he was allowed to face him in the 10th. Lamb homered to tie the game. He is 4-for-8 against Casilla with four homers, including three this season.
Starting pitching report: Bumgarner finished the night having thrown an MLB-leading 199 2/3 innings. When he records his first out on Wednesday, he’ll have his sixth consecutive 200-inning season.
Bullpen report: Casilla's eight blown saves are the most by a Giants reliever since Armando Benitez blew eight in 2006.
At the plate: Span was 0-for-6. He’s hitless in his past 26 at-bats.
In the field: Alex Gordon would have been out.
Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 26,492 human beings who did not know the game would go five hours and 23 minutes.
Up next: Johnny Cueto, who had a good time at the Scottsdale Fashion Square on the off day, will face young right-hander Archie Bradley.