DENVER -- Brandon Crawford didn't know he had a chance to join a couple of Hall-of-Famers when he came up with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Monday afternoon. All he knew was that he was facing something he hadn't previously seen in the big leagues.
Crawford dug in and looked up at Mark Reynolds, a first baseman who was asked to mop it up on the mound in the ninth inning of the Giants' 19-2 win at Coors Field. Reynolds was the first position player Crawford had faced in the big leagues.
"It was a weird feeling," Crawford said. "But it's bases loaded, one out -- it's still an at-bat that counts."
Crawford made sure of that, bouncing a single up the middle to drive in two more runs. He finished with eight RBI, tying a San Francisco Giants record previously shared by Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda. He became the first shortstop in MLB history to record five hits and eight RBI in one game. Crawford said the big day was due to his teammates.
"I hit with a lot of guys on base, that was nice," he said. "The whole lineup contributed."
That was rarely the case the first three months. But in the days leading up to the break, you could see Crawford, Buster Posey and other members of the core starting to turn it on, mixing in with Alex Dickerson, Austin Slater and other newcomers.
Crawford took a five-game hitting streak into the game and added three walks over the weekend in Milwaukee. The breakout came Monday. He homered in the first to help the Giants take a 5-0 lead and added a long shot to right in the sixth.
In one game, Crawford raised his average from .226 to .239. His OPS jumped from .654 to .695. That's hard to do nearly 100 games into the season -- unless you have the type of day that has you in the same company as Hall-of-Famers.
"I've been feeling good," Crawford said. "I'm seeing the ball well. You expect to get hits when that happens."