Belt ninth-inning single lifts Giants past D-backs


 

 Associated Press

 SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt is determined to force his way back into the lineup.

 A few more hits like his game-winning single Monday night certainly could help press that issue.

 Belt singled to left-center with one out in the ninth, Buster Posey tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth, and the Giants rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 for their seventh straight home victory.

 Belt’s first career walkoff hit came against Tony Sipp (1-1), who allowed a leadoff single to Andres Torres. Brandon Crawford sacrificed him to second. Belt was mobbed by his teammates afterward.

 “I’m pretty lightheaded and my kidneys hurt right now,” he said. “Somebody got me.”

 Posey’s drive to straightaway center was his second homer of the year and second in two days.

 Jose Mijares struck out two in the ninth before yielding Cliff Pennington’s double. Closer Sergio Romo (1-1) relieved in a double switch as Belt entered at first base. Romo retired pinch-hitter Eric Hinske on a first-pitch grounder.

 Belt delivered hours after manager Bruce Bochy and hitting coaches Hensley Meulens and Joe Lefebvre met with him during batting practice and urged the struggling first baseman to slow his body movements down. Joaquin Arias started in his place.

 “When you get to this point you feel like you’ve heard a lot of things, but sometimes you forget it, and it’s nice to have another set of eyes to remind you,” said Belt, who is ba tting .197.

  Arizona played its third straight one-run game.

  Cody Ross hit a two-run single against the team he helped win the 2010 World Series and pitcher Wade Miley hit a towering, tiebreaking drive for his first career home run. But the Diamondbacks couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead.

  Eric Chavez also hit a solo homer for the D-backs.

  “It’s not the way you want to end it,” Chavez said. “ We do a lot of what they did tonight when we’re down, so we’ve got to find a way to close the door when we have the lead. We put together really good at-bats late in innings like they did tonight.”

 Miley crushed a 2-0 pitch deep into the right field arcade in the fifth off Ryan Vogelsgong — and the ball was thrown back onto the field, so the pitcher might have a souvenir to take home. Ross threw his right arm into the air to cheer his teammate.

 In the sixth, Ross drew cheers with a sensational diving catch near the foul line in right field to rob Posey of a likely extra-base hit. Ross then got to his knees and quickly threw to the infield as shortstop Didi Gregorius clapped.

 The Giants gave up home runs to a third different pitcher this month, the first time they had done so in the same calendar month since June 1953. Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo also connected against the Giants.

 Vogelsong has allowed one homer in three of his four starts and each of his last three. The right-hander was tagged for two homers in a game for the first time since allowing three to Atlanta on Aug. 24 last year, the only time he did so in 2012.

 “There’s no quit in this team, I can tell you that,” Vogelsong said. “We fight ‘til the last out. It’s pretty fun to watch.”

 He loaded the bases on just 12 pitches to start the game — back-to-back singles by Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado followed by a seven-pitch walk to Paul Goldschmidt before Ross’ bloop single that went past leaping second baseman Marco Scutaro.

 That hit by Ross, the 2010 NL championship series MVP for the Giants, ended a stretch of 21 shutout innings by San Francisco’s pitchers after consecutive shutouts in a weekend sweep of the Padres. It was the longest scoreless streak by the club since 36 innings from June 25-29 of last year.

 The Giants added those two runs right back in the bottom half with three straight one-out doubles, including those by Pablo Sandoval and Posey to drive in runs after Scutaro got things started.

 Goldschmidt walked in his first two plate appearances then was hit by a pitch in the fifth.

 Miley struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter but remains winless in three career starts and four total outings against the Giants.

 At the plate, Miley was 0 for 5 this season and 12 for 83 lifetime (.145) with a pair of doubles before the homer.

 “They put together a good inning late,” Miley said.

 "It just slipped away from us.”

 San Francisco athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy checked on Posey in the top of the second after a bouncing pitch hit him in the right side of his neck. The reigning NL MVP and batting champion stayed in the game and said afterward he was fine.

 Posey sure looked it on the home run.

 “He’s some kind of special,” Vogelsong said.

 The Giants are in a 15-game stretch against the division, going 9-1 so far versus the West. Monday’s game kicked off the first of 19 between the rivals who were an even 18-18 in their matchups the past two years.

CARDINALS 3, NATIONALS 2

WASHINGTON — Yadier Molina drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, backing Shelby Miller's strong start, and the Cardinals returned to the site of their Game 5 NL division series victory last season.

The other big hit for St. Louis was Allen Craig's two-run double in the third.

Miller (3-1) struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits.

All the Cardinals' runs came against Dan Haren (1-3), who gave up three runs and six hits in five-plus innings.

Edward Mujica pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save. The Cardinals have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games.

Washington has lost seven of 10.

PHILLIES 3, PIRATES 2

PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and Jonathan Pettibone had an impressive major league debut to lead Philadelphia past Pittsburgh.

Pettibone allowed two runs and six hits, striking out six in 5 1-3 innings. Raul Valdes (1-0) got two outs in the sixth and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his fourth save.

Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin hit solo homers for the Pirates on a chilly night when the temperature dipped below 50 degrees.

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett gave up two runs and five hits, fanning seven in five innings. Jared Hughes (1-2) retired his first two batters in the sixth before running into trouble.

REDS 5, CUBS 4, 13 INNINGS

CINCINNATI — Jay Bruce hit a tying double and scored on Cesar Izturis' two-out single in the 13th inning, rallying Cincinnati to a victory that gave Chicago its fourth straight loss.

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the top of the 13th off Alfredo Simon (2-1) for a 4-2 Cubs lead.

Michael Bowden (0-1) couldn't hold it. He gave up a single by Xavier Paul, Brandon Phillips' double and Bruce's two-run double that tied it.

Izturis' single past diving shortstop Starlin Castro sent the Reds to their seventh victory in eight games on their homestand.

Bruce also hit his first homer of the season to start Cincinnati's comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the seventh.

The Cubs have dropped seven of eight and 12 of 15, leaving them in last place in the NL Central at 5-13. David DeJesus hit a leadoff homer for Chicago.

BREWERS 7, PADRES 1

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer and Yuniesky Betancourt had a three-run shot off Jason Marquis in the first inning to help Milwaukee beat San Diego for its eighth straight victory.

Kyle Lohse (1-1) went five innings, allowing one run and five hits, but left in the sixth after dislocating his left pinkie on a play at first base. He said he expects to make his next start.

Marquis (1-2) was rocked for seven runs in four-plus innings as the Padres dropped their fourth in a row overall and sixth straight at home.

The homer for Braun was his sixth of the season. He added an RBI single in the fifth and has 19 RBIs.

Red Sox rebound

BOSTON — Mike Napoli hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, Will Middlebrooks busted out of a slump with a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox rebounded from a doubleheader sweep by beating the Oakland Athletics 9-6.

The Red Sox, swept by Kansas City Sunday, scored three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. Napoli's fourth career slam keyed the five-run fifth and helped end Oakland's eight-game winning streak against Boston.

The Athletics dropped their season-high fourth straight.

Felix Doubront (2-0) allowed three runs on three hits, walking five. He also threw two wild pitches and struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings.

A.J. Griffin (2-1) was tagged for a career-worst nine runs — seven earned — and eight hits in four-plus innings.

RANGERS 7, ANGELS 6

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A.J. Pierzynski hit a tiebreaking homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and Texas rallied from a late three-run deficit for a 7-6 win over the Angels.

Mitch Moreland had three hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who also got three hits from Elvis Andrus in their fourth consecutive victory, snapping the Angels' three-game winning streak.

Chris Iannetta doubled in the go-ahead run and Luis Jimenez got his first career RBIs on a two-run single while the Angels took a 6-3 lead in the sixth inning, but Texas tied it with three runs in the seventh.

Pierzynski then hit his fourth homer of the season to right off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri (0-1).

Tanner Scheppers (2-0) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the Rangers, and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Josh Hamilton had four hits against his former team after getting bumped out of the cleanup spot.

ORIOLES 2, BLUE JAYS 1

BALTIMORE — Nick Markakis singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Orioles a victory over the Blue Jays.

Toronto reliever Aaron Loup (1-2) began the ninth by hitting Chris Davis with a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Steve Pearce popped out and Nolan Reimold received an intentional walk before Alexi Casilla reached on a throwing error by shortstop Munenori Kawasaki that loaded the bases.

Markakis then sliced an 0-2 pitch to the opposite field near the left-field line.

Jim Johnson (1-1) worked a perfect ninth for the Orioles, now 5-2 on a nine-game homestand that ends Wednesday.

RAYS 5, YANKEES 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Matt Moore became the first Rays pitcher to win his first four starts of a season, Ryan Roberts homered twice and Tampa Bay beat CC Sabathia and the Yankees.

Moore (4-0) allowed one run, two hits, three walks and had nine strikeouts over eight innings. Roberts connected in the first and third to help the Rays take an early 5-0 lead.

Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis, who left Saturday's game at Toronto with lower back stiffness, was a late scratch Monday after the back tightened up following batting practice.

Sabathia (3-2) had a three-game winning streak end. The left-hander gave up five runs and seven hits over seven innings.

INDIANS 3, WHITE SOX 2

CHICAGO — Asdrubal Cabrera hit a clutch two-run single in his return to the lineup and the Indians used a throwing error by reliever Matt Thornton to rally for a victory over the White Sox.

Justin Masterson (4-1) pitched seven effective innings to help the Indians win their third straight. They have won three of four this season against the White Sox.

Cleveland had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth when Thornton (0-1) threw wildly to second while trying to pick off Drew Stubbs. Both runners moved up as the ball went into center field.

Jason Kipnis struck out for the second out, but Cabrera hit a liner to center to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.

MARINERS 7, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON — Felix Hernandez pitched six scoreless innings for his 100th career win and Seattle homered three times to back him up in a victory over the Astros

Hernandez (2-2) reached the milestone in his fourth try to join Jamie Moyer (145) and Randy Johnson (130) as the only pitchers to reach 100 wins with the Mariners.

Hernandez allowed five hits and struck out nine to lower his ERA to 2.08.

Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero and Kendrys Morales all homered for the Mariners, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Rick Ankiel hit a solo homer in the seventh inning for the Astros, who dropped to 5-14 — the second-worst start in franchise history, according to STATS. They opened 4-20 in 1969.

Houston starter Brad Peacock (1-2) yielded nine hits and seven runs — both season highs — in 4 1-3 innings.

 

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