Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saltzman Says...San Jose Giants win 18 inning thriller

Nobody imagined on Monday that the game would end on Tuesday

Instant Classic: Giants Win 18-Inning Thriller

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Giants staged a dramatic rally scoring four times in the bottom of the 18th inning to earn an improbable 10-9 victory over the Stockton Ports at Municipal Stadium. In a game that didn't conclude until early Tuesday morning, Jarrett Parker reached base on a fielding error committed by Ports shortstop Dusty Coleman with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 18th to score the winning run. San Jose had to rally in the 11th and 13th innings to avoid defeat before overcoming Stockton's three-run top of the 18th to win the contest. The Giants finish their seven-game homestand with six wins and improve their overall record to 25-13 - two games ahead of the Ports (23-15) for the top spot in the first half North Division race.

San Jose was down to their last out in the bottom of the 11th inning when Ryan Cavan belted a solo homer to right field before Parker's RBI double in the bottom of the 13th tied the score again. After Stockton took a 9-6 lead in the top of the 18th, Chris Dominguez hit a key two-run single in the bottom of the frame before Nick Liles tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Then with the bases loaded, two outs and the count 3-2, Parker hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that was bobbled by Coleman, whose hurried throw to first was late as Wendell Fairley raced home with the winning tally.

Dominguez (5-for-8, HR, 4 RBI) tied a San Jose Giants single-game record with five hits, including a first-inning home run, to lead the offensive attack. Gary Brown (3-for-8, 2B, SB) extended his hitting streak to 11 games while Hector Sanchez (2-for-7, 2B, 2 RBI) collected at least one RBI in his 11th straight contest.
The back-and-forth affair saw the Ports rally from an early 4-0 deficit scoring twice in the top of the fourth before two more runs in the eighth inning to tie the game. Stockton took their first lead in the top of the 11th as Mitch LeVier led off with a single against reliever Hector Correa before Anthony Alilotti's sacrifice bunt and Max Stassi's RBI single.

The Ports then appeared to be closing in on a victory as pitcher Scott Deal quickly retired the first two Giants batters of the bottom of the 11th before Cavan stepped to the plate and crushed the first pitch of his at-bat well over the fence in right field for a solo homer. The home run, Cavan's fifth of the season, tied the score 5-5.

After neither team scored in the 12th, Stockton plated a single run in the top of the 13th without the benefit of a hit. Facing Ari Ronick, Aliotti drew a leadoff walk before Stassi dropped down a sacrifice bunt. However on the play, Ronick threw wildly to first for an error allowing Aliotti to advance to third and Stassi to move into second. Leonardo Gil then delivered a sacrifice fly to center plating Aliotti with the go-ahead run.
San Jose though again rallied as Brown led off the bottom of the 13th with a groundball to third that was stopped by a diving Gil, but a wild throw pulled the first baseman Alioti off the bag for an error. After
 Brandon Crawford sacrificed Brown to second with a bunt, Parker lined a double to left that easily scored the runner tying the game 6-6. Parker, however, was stranded at second as Sanchez flied out and Cavan struck out to end the inning.

Andy Reichard entered the game for the Giants with one out in the top of the 14th inning and had to pitch out of trouble in the 15th and 16th frames. In the top of the 15th, Aliotti singled with one out and was at third base with two outs before Reichard induced Gil to groundout to third. Then in the 16th, Rashun Dixon led off with an infield single, was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third when Conner Crumbliss grounded out. However, again Reichard was able to keep the game tied as Coleman flied out to center.

The Giants had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the 16th inning as Sanchez singled with one out before Dominguez hit a two-out single to put runners on first and second, but Joseph struck out swinging to end the threat.

The contest was delayed briefly after the 16th inning as the game had reached the California League curfew. The rule states that no inning can begin after 11:50 PM, but after receiving clearance from the league to continue, the teams were allowed to resume action with the top of the 17th.

In the 17th, Reichard worked around a two-out walk before the Giants again put a runner in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the inning. After the first two batters were retired, Brown doubled into the right field corner before Crawford walked. Scott Hodsdon was then summoned from the bullpen and he promptly struck out Parker to end the inning and force an 18th frame.

Stockton finally broke through with a big inning in the top of the 18th as Gil singled up the middle to leadoff before Dixon hammered an RBI double to the fence in left field to put the Ports back in front. After a sacrifice bunt moved Dixon to third, Crumbliss singled to left plating the second run of the inning. Then with two outs, Michael Choice produced an RBI double down the right field line to make it 9-6.

Needing an extra-inning rally for a third time, Sanchez began the bottom of the 18th by drawing a four-pitch walk. Cavan followed with a sharp double into the right field corner before Dominguez brought home both runners with a single up the middle. The rally continued with Joseph moving Dominguez to second with his first sacrifice bunt of the season before a wild pitch advanced the potential tying run to third. Liles then hit a sacrifice fly to left easily scoring Dominguez to bring San Jose even at 9-9.

The inning continued with two outs and nobody on as Fairley reached base on a bad hop groundball to shortstop that was officially scored as a single. After Brown singled and Crawford walked to load the bases, Parker worked the count full before hitting another sharp grounder to Coleman at shortstop. Coleman though bobbled the ball and was unable to retire Parker with his throw to first as Fairley scored the game-deciding run prompting a wild celebration of Giants players near first base.

Reichard (2-0) earned the win for San Jose despite giving up three runs in the top of the 18th. Reichard worked 4 2/3 innings of long relief with three runs (all earned) on seven hits allowed, one walk and two strikeouts.

Hodsdon (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering all four runs (three earned) in the bottom of the 18th.

The Giants took an early 4-0 lead with four runs in the bottom of the first inning on Sanchez's one-out, two-RBI double and Dominguez's two-out, two-run homer down the right field line.

San Francisco Giant Santiago Casilla made his second rehab start on the mound for San Jose. Casilla, who is recovering from an elbow injury, pitched two scoreless innings working around a pair of singles and one walk. He threw 26 pitches before giving way to scheduled starter Craig Westcott.

Westcott yielded a two-run homer to LeVier in the top of the fourth, but had settled down to retire eight straight hitters from the fifth through the eighth innings. However, Stockton rallied in the top of the eighth as LeVier connected for a one-out, RBI double to knock Westcott out of the game before Aliotti hit a sacrifice fly against Correa to tie the score 4-4.

Correa stranded the potential go-ahead run at second base in the eighth before not allowing a hit in the ninth or tenth innings.

The Giants out-hit Stockton by a 17-16 margin. Parker (2-for-9, 2B, RBI), Cavan (2-for-8, 2B, HR, RBI) and Fairley (2-for-7) also had multi-hit games for San Jose.

Notes: The game ended at 12:48 AM on Tuesday morning ... The teams combined for 13 pitchers (Stockton 7, San Jose 6) ... The Giants won their first extra-inning game of the season in three attempts ... It was also their first walk-off win this year ... The Ports had been a perfect 4-0 in extra-inning games ... Dominguez joined Liles, Brown and Alex Burg as San Jose players to have five hits in a single game this season ... Westcott (5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), Correa (3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), Mitch Lively (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO), Ronick (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) and Reichard all pitched out of the Giants bullpen ... Correa was officially charged with San Jose's first blown save since April 13 ... The Giants had converted 14 consecutive save opportunities ... San Jose's two-game lead in the division is their largest of the season ... Stockton suffered their first series loss this year ... The final time of game was five hours and 38 minutes - just 18 minutes shy of matching the longest home game in San Jose Giants history (5:56, May 12-13, 1995 vs. San Bernardino).

Box Score

Game Log

Andrew Baggarly Says...

It was an epic game at Single-A San Jose Monday night– and not because Santiago Casilla began it with two scoreless innings in a rehab appearance. Actually, the game lasted into Tuesday morning. It was an 18-inning marathon that ended at 12:49 PDT after five hours and 38 minutes. The Giants came back not once, not twice but THREE times against Stockton in extra innings (11th, 13th and 18th innings), and the final comeback, believe it or not, was a four-run rally to take a 10-9 victory.
Amazing. I’d like to know how many folks stayed for the duration. They probably saw one of the greatest baseball games in Bay Area history.

1 comment:

  1. Growing up in Stockton I followed the Ports growing up. I even worked for them in 2006. But my most memorable moment will be back in the early '90's when my dad and I were at a Cal League playoff game. I do not recall who the Ports were playing. But the game went until 2am before they decided to postpone it and play it before the game the next day. This past game against the Giants reminded me of that. Part of the reason why I enjoyed that game when I was a kid was because they gave the adults coffee and the kids hot cocoa all for free after midnight to keep us warm. I agree with Andrew, I'd like to know how many stayed for the whole game. The one I went to because it was a playoff game, nobody left. It was truly a night to remember for this baseball guy.