SAN FRANCISCO — Mac Williamson chose the perfect time for his first career homer.
Williamson took Red Sox ace David Price deep on the first pitch of the eighth, hitting a majestic shot that was the winning run in a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox. The blast landed on top of the wall in left and skipped into the seats, giving the Giants a big win on a night when Price allowed just three hits, two of which were homers.
The aces lived up to the hype, and the score was tied at one when Madison Bumgarner departed after six. The Red Sox got on the board first when Chris Young blasted a 3-2 cutter into the seats in the fourth.
Brandon Belt tied the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the inning, crushing a Price curveball into McCovey Cove to wipe “68” off the Splash Hits board on the right field wall.
The rest of the Giants were having absolutely no success against Price, who sailed into the seventh and was at just 79 pitches when he walked Brandon Crawford with two outs. Trevor Brown followed with a grueling at-bat, fouling off five pitches before hitting the 10th pitch from Price far to left, within about a dozen feet of giving the Giants the lead. The out was followed by a Jarrett Parker strikeout, but Williamson got the go-ahead run across while leading off the eighth.
Williamson got a standing ovation from the fans in the bleachers when he ran out to his position, but the good vibes wouldn’t last. Hanley Ramirez hit a long fly ball against Santiago Casilla to open the top of the ninth and Williamson dropped it for a two-base error. After Casilla struck out Jackie Bradley Jr., Javier Lopez entered to face pinch-hitter David Ortiz. He walked him, but struck out pinch-hitter Travis Shaw. Hunter Strickland was the next man out of the ‘pen and he got a groundout on the first pitch to pick up his second career save.
Starting pitching report: Bumgarner threw 101 pitches in six innings. He gave up four hits and one run, lowering his ERA to 1.88, which trails only Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta.
Bullpen report: It’s rare that the opposing starter goes deeper than Bumgarner, but Derek Law and Cory Gearrin bridged the gap with two strong innings.
At the plate: Belt’s home run was the 69th Splash Hit by a Giant at AT&T Park, and the first since Belt splashed down on Sept. 25, 2014. Let’s just say the sellout crowd enjoyed this one.
In the field: Brown became the first catcher other than Buster Posey to catch a Bumgarner pitch since Sept. 17, 2014. Posey (nerve irritation in right thumb) and Bumgarner had worked together 45 consecutive regular season games, plus the entire 2014 postseason.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,635 human beings who checked their phones and squirmed for the first few innings.
Up next: A day off! The Dodgers come to town Friday with an All-Star matchup on the first night: Johnny Cueto vs. Kershaw.