ARLINGTON, Texas — Hunter Pence went to high school just a few long homers from Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers. His deep blast in extra innings Saturday gave the Giants a 9-7 win over his hometown team.
Pence took Sam Dyson deep to left while leading off the 11th and Brandon Belt followed with his second homer of the night, capping a wild win for the Giants. They had trailed most of the night before tying the game with three runs in the top of the eighth.
The Rangers jumped on Chris Heston from the start, scoring a pair of first-inning runs on Mitch Moreland’s double. In his Rangers debut, Cole Hamels would give the lead back two innings later, when Belt hit a solo homer, Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik doubled and Matt Duffy singled. Belt’s homer, which kicked off the three-run inning, snapped an 0-for-35 streak against Hamels by opposing hitters.
The Rangers got a run back in the fourth and knocked Heston out in the fifth. They scored two in the sixth against Jeremy Affeldt and George Kontos, getting one on a bloop single and a second run on a sacrifice fly.
Buster Posey entered the night with 11 hits in 21 at-bats against Hamels, and the domination continued. Posey nearly homered in his first at-bat and he did clear the fence in the seventh, cutting the deficit to one run. The Giants put two on with one out, but Crawford hit into an inning-ending double play.
The seventh proved to be another long inning for the bullpen. A double, single and sacrifice fly tacked on one Rangers run and they scored again when Belt dropped a throw on what would have been an inning-ending double play.
Again, the lineup stormed right back. Panik, Duffy and Posey hit two-out doubles to get two runs across and Hunter Pence poked a game-tying single into right, assuring that Hamels would not get a decision in his debut.
Starting pitching report: A high pitch count led to a short night for Heston. He was pulled after 93 pitches and charged with three earned on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Bullpen report: Six guys pitched. It wasn’t a night they’ll remember fondly.
At the plate: Belt finished the night with 12 homers and he’s on pace for 19, which would be a career-high.
In the field: Hector Sanchez and Matt Duffy teamed up for a huge play in the fourth. The Rangers had runners on the corners with one out when Sanchez caught Elvis Andrus leaning off third base and gunned him down. Duffy’s sly move assured the out; Andrus tried to slide back in safely but his hand never got past Duffy’s cleat, which was placed right in front of the base.
Attendance: The Rangers announced a crowd of 41,114 human beings. They said that more than 8,500 of those tickets were sold after the Hamels trade was announced.
Up next: Mike Leake makes his Giants debut against left-hander Martin Perez. Leake allowed just one run in seven innings in his only previous start at Globe Life Park.