Rhea Mahbubani

Giants Walk Off on Blue Jays to Avoid Sweep

For the second time in five games the Giants walked a team off in the 13th. This time it was the Blue Jays, who fell 5-4 on bases-loaded walk and failed to clinch a sweep at AT&T Park.

Brandon Belt led off the bottom of the 13th and was hit by a pitch. He took second when Russell Martin bounced a throw on Denard Span’s sacrifice attempt and he took third on a wild pitch. After an intentional walk and a liner to the first baseman, Buster Posey walked on four pitches to bring the winning run home. It was a bizarre ending on a day when the Giants went 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

The Giants took a 4-1 lead into the eighth thanks to solid work from Madison Bumgarner. But the bullpen gave two runs back in that inning and Michael Saunders took Santiago Casilla deep to center in the ninth to tie the game.

Pitching into the seventh was a heck of a feat considering the way Bumgarner’s day started. He threw 31 pitches in the first inning, but left the bases loaded by striking out Russell Martin on a good curveball.

Bumgarner walked four on the day and that lack of command hurt him in the third, when Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista drew back-to-back walks and Donaldson stole third. He scored on a groundout.

The Giants got two in the second on a single, error and Gregor Blanco double. They got two more in the fifth, but could have had more. The bases were packed with no outs for Posey, but he hit into a double play. Hunter Pence followed with a hard double over center fielder Kevin Pillar’s head that gave Bumgarner a three-run lead.

Those runs would loom large three innings later, when Cory Gearrin gave up two hits and hit a batter to set up two Blue Jays runs. The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the ninth but the Giants got the winning run to second in the bottom of the inning. Posey grounded out to short.

A single, hit-by-pitch and error loaded the bases with one out in the 10th as the Blue Jays tried to give the game away. The Giants wouldn’t take it. Belt struck out and Span grounded out to first on a 2-0 pitch.

Matt Duffy singled for the third time with one out in the 11th, but Posey and Hunter Pence couldn’t bring him around. At that point, the Giants had two hits in a span of 34 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner’s five strikeouts were his fewest of the season. He threw a season-high 116 pitches.

Bullpen report: Joe Biagini came in for the Blue Jays in the seventh. The big right-hander played at The King’s Academy (Sunnyvale) and UC Davis before getting drafted by the Giants. Biagini had a good season for Double-A Richmond last year but the Giants had too many other pitchers to protect in the Rule 5 draft, and the Blue Jays snapped him up. So far, he has a 0.90 ERA.

At the plate: Posey hit a spinning grounder through the shift in the first inning, breaking an 0-for-18 streak. His career-worst is an 0-for-19 in 2013.

In the field: Donaldson’s stolen base was the first off Bumgarner this season, and just the second attempt. After allowing 27 stolen bases in 2012, Bumgarner has allowed just 21 the past four seasons.

Attendance: The Giants announced 41,000-something people. It was a sellout, but most of the crowd left when it went to extra innings.

Up next: Road trip, starting in Phoenix. Johnny Cueto faces Zack Greinke on Thursday night.

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