SAN FRANCISCO — They handed out two different Brandon Crawford bobbleheads on Saturday, one for his Silver Slugger award and one for his Gold Glove. Two other Giants infielders made sure the home fans also saw a win.
Matt Duffy walked off the Rockies with a base hit to deep left in the bottom of the 13th inning Saturday afternoon. Duffy clinched a 2-1 win with his second career walk-off, both of which have come on Mother’s Day weekend.
In the top of the inning Joe Panik made a diving stop of Gerardo Parra’s grounder up the middle and threw a hook shot over to Brandon Crawford at second. Nolan Arenado was originally called safe, but a quick review confirmed that Panik is an excellent defender and the inning was over.
Thanks to Johnny Cueto and young Rockies starter Jon Gray, the teams kept it scoreless through nine. DJ LeMahieu hit a one-out triple in the 10th that was just out of the reach of a diving Denard Span. The Giants pulled their infield in and Tony Wolters yanked a broken-bat grounder that stayed right down the first-base line for a slow-rolling RBI double.
Brandon Belt immediately got the tying run on base, lining a leadoff triple in the bottom of the inning. Two batters later, Crawford poked the tying single into left that extended the afternoon. For eight innings, this game had flown along.
Cueto faced just one batter over the minimum through five innings. He gave up a single in the first but got a double play. He gave up a single in the fourth but picked the runner off. He walked Nolan Arenado to lead off the fourth, but Buster Posey gunned him down at second on a failed hit-and-run. Cueto gave up back-to-back singles right after that, but got another double play.
Gray was just as sharp, using a fastball-slider combo to completely slice through the Giants. Gray was the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, and it’s easy to see why the Rockies liked him so much. He sat 94-96 while allowing just one hit and two walks through the first six innings. The seventh went 1-2-3, with Gray getting his 21st out on his 89th pitch, a 95 mph fastball. That would be it for Gray, who looks like one of the rare pitchers who might be able to survive in Denver.
Cueto pitched into the ninth and got the first out before back-to-back singles ended his day. The Giants nearly won it in the bottom of the inning, getting Kelby Tomlinson to second with one out. But Panik walked and Posey grounded out to third.
Starting pitching report: Giants starters pitched at least 8 1/3 innings just six times last season. Cueto has done it in his past two starts at AT&T Park. On Saturday he gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out three.
Bullpen report: Santiago Casilla entered with two on and one out. He got Nolan Arenado to pop up and then Gerardo Parra grounded out softy to first.
At the plate: Belt drew a walk in his first plate appearance, extending his streak to 15 straight games in which he has reached base. Belt has 17 walks during that streak.
In the field: Wolters tried to bunt his way on in the sixth, but Cueto scooped the ball and met Wolters in front of the bag. The young catcher did something you’ll never see on a baseball field, diving at Cueto’s legs. Wolters was out, and Cueto looked momentarily uncomfortable. Cueto ended up in the exact same situation when he bunted in the bottom of the inning, and when first baseman Mark Reynolds got the ball, Cueto put both hands out, smiled and went in for a hug/tag.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,590 human beings who tried to hide their cell phones from the rain.
Up next: Jeff Samardzija will go for his fifth win. He’ll face Eddie Butler, another highly-touted Rockies right-hander, who brings a 6.75 ERA to AT&T Park.