SAN FRANCISCO – Gregor Blanco already injured his right ankle in the last inning of the last game of the season. Then he nearly hurt himself again jumping off the X-ray table.
That’s when his replacement, Francisco Peguero, hit a home run – the first of his career – to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Hunter Pence’s bases-loaded single won it as the Giants beat the San Diego Padres 7-6 to finish in a third-place tie in the NL West.
“Well, I guess everything worked out,” Blanco said.
Including those X-ray results. Blanco has a sprained ankle but no fracture. He’ll go for an MRI exam on Monday. Shortstop Brandon Crawford will have an MRI on Tuesday, also, after straining his oblique in Sunday’s season finale.
Blanco’s injury looked much, much worse. He was chasing Will Venable’s triple when center fielder Angel Pagan dived for it and rolled into him. Blanco stayed down and couldn’t put much weight on his right leg as two trainers helped him off the field.
“I heard a pop and I couldn’t feel much,” Blanco said. “I thought, `No way. This is the last day.’ Especially in that moment, I knew I was going to lead off the next inning. I was like, `Well, I guess I’m not going to hit.’”
Peguero took care of it.
Crawford could’ve used one more hit, too, to boost his average to .250. He finished at .248 – exactly the same as his average last season. It was a disappointment for the shortstop, who was hitting .294 as late as June 14. But five days later, he sprained two fingers on a slide into second base, and his problems began there.
“The finger hurt me a little bit, literally and figuratively,” Crawford said. “The ability to trust your hands is huge in hitting and I lost it for a couple weeks. I had to fight it the last two months.
“Even though the average is the exact same as last year, I felt I was a lot better hitter this year. I’ll get back to where I was the first couple months.”