Giants roll in wild extra-inning affair

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 19, 2012
Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco hit three-run homers in the 11th inning Wednesday night and the San Francisco Giants recovered after blowing a two-run lead in the 10th to record a 9-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves. Anthony Varvaro (1-1) hit Eli Whiteside with a pitch to open the 11th before walking Brandon Belt. Chad Durbin replaced Varvaro and struck out Joaquin Arias. Crawford's homer off Durbin came one pitch after he fouled a ball off his right knee and collapsed to the ground in pain. The left-handed-hitting Crawford then pulled the next pitch from Durbin into the right-field seats. Chipper Jones' second throwing error of the game allowed Justin Christian to reach base. With two outs, Durbin issued an intentional walk to Melky Cabrera before giving up Blanco's homer, also to right field, pushing the Giants' lead to 9-3. Jones homered off Brad Penny in the 11th. The homer, Jones' eighth, gave him 1,596 career RBI, matching George Brett's record for third basemen. Cabrera homered in the sixth and had a run-scoring single in the Giants' two-run 10th inning to give San Francisco a 3-1 lead. The Giants were one out away from the win when Brian McCann hit a tying two-run homer off Santiago Casilla (3-4) in the bottom of the 10th. It was Casilla's sixth blown save in 29 opportunities. Jones' first error helped the Giants in the 10th. Arias hit a one-out triple off Varvaro, who then issued an intentional walk to Crawford. Christian then hit a soft grounder to third base which Jones fielded while running toward the plate. Jones tried to make an underhand toss to McCann at the plate but threw the ball high, allowing Arias to score. Crawford raced to third on the error. Varvaro walked Ryan Theriot, loading the bases, before Cabrera's bloop single drove in Crawford. Buster Posey, who had three hits for the second straight night, led off the ninth with a single to right off Braves closer Craig Kimbrel before Pablo Sandoval hit into a double play. Juan Francisco's homer in the third gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Cabrera tied the game with his ninth homer in the sixth. San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong and Atlanta's Mike Minor each lasted six innings and posted almost identical pitching lines. Vogelsong gave up four hits and one run with two walks and seven strikeouts. Minor gave up three hits and one run with two walks and seven strikeouts. Jones took over for Francisco in the bottom of the seventh and made a diving stop of Christian's grounder to lead off the eighth. Jones bounced up and threw out Christian. Minor, who struck out the side in the third, retired San Francisco's first 12 hitters. Posey hit a leadoff double to right field in the fifth for the Giants' first hit. Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz left Sandoval stranded at third in the seventh when he hit a weak groundout to first base to end the inning. Sandoval led off the inning with a double off Kris Medlen. The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 16 minutes by rain. NOTES: The Giants placed C Hector Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee following an MRI on Wednesday. C Eli Whiteside was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and took over for Posey in the ninth. ... McCann's homer was the 150th of his career. ... LHP Jonny Venters (sore left elbow) may start a short rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. The Braves want Venters to make at least two appearances with Gwinnett before he comes off the 15-day DL. ... The series ends Thursday with Braves RHP Tim Hudson facing Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner.
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