MILWAUKEE – The San Francisco Giants delivered another improbable come-from-behind victory by displaying the tenacity that has enabled them to produce the best record in baseball.
Brandon Belt hit his second homer of the night during a four-run outburst in the 11th inning to help the Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-6 in a wild Saturday night matchup between first-place teams.
Trailing 2-1 with two outs in the ninth, the Giants tied it with a bizarre RBI triple and ended up scoring eight runs over the final three innings. San Francisco had to use nine different pitchers.
“That was the toughest performance of the year for our club,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
That’s a strong statement, considering how much grit the NL West leaders have shown all season. This latest victory came just two nights after the Giants erased a 4-0 ninth-inning deficit in a 5-4, 10-inning triumph at Arizona.
The Giants were playing their third straight extra-inning game. They tied the game with a two-out rally in the ninth, then bounced back after blowing a three-run lead in the 10th.
LaMonte Wade put the Giants ahead for good in the 11th with a one-out single that scored Austin Slater. Belt followed with a two-run shot over the right-field wall. Kris Bryant capped the rally with an RBI double.
“That's a really good lineup," Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff said. "Obviously a lot of those guys have multiple World Series rings. There's not a moment too big for any of those guys. They've seen it all.”
All four of the Giants' 11th-inning runs came off Sal Romano (0-1) in his Brewers debut.
Belt also hit a solo shot in the fourth and has three homers over the last two nights. Bryant and Buster Posey both had three hits.
Jake McGee (4-2) pitched the bottom of the 11th with a 9-5 lead and was credited with the win after allowing only one run on Lorenzo Cain's two-out single. McGee wasn't supposed to pitch Saturday but got pressed into duty when the game reached the 11th.
“I didn’t have my brace down there or my cup or anything, so they had to run that out in extra innings,” said McGee, who was pitching for a third straight night.
The Brewers were one out away from a 2-1 victory when Tommy La Stella hit a ninth-inning drive that fell in front of right fielder Avisaíl García at the warning track. La Stella was credited with a triple that scored Bryant from first.
García backed up until he was in front of the wall and took a few steps to his right to track down the fly, but never touched the ball as he reached for it.
“I think he just kind of got himself stuck on the wall a little bit, and then had a hard time changing direction,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think he was preparing himself to make the catch against the wall and the ball just never got there, and he got a little tied up and his feet got tangled up and he couldn’t recover from it.”
La Stella’s hit foiled Brent Suter’s hopes of earning his first career save at the age of 31.
“You've got to give La Stella some credit there,” Suter said. “On an up-and-in pitch, he just kind of got some barrel to it. He got it up there, and it was moving around and stuff.”
Milwaukee couldn’t turn to All-Star closer Josh Hader, one of several Brewers on the COVID-19 injured list.
Posey hit a two-run single through a drawn-in infield and Brandon Crawford drove home a run with a sacrifice fly to help the Giants grab a 5-2 lead against Miguel Sánchez in the 10th.
Luis Urías cut the margin to 5-4 by starting the bottom of the 10th with a two-run homer to center off Jarlin García. One out later, Willy Adames also sent a García pitch over the center-field wall to tie it.
The Brewers carried a 2-1 lead into the ninth because Woodruff pitched six strong innings and Tyrone Taylor broke out of his slump.
Woodruff struck out eight and allowed six hits, one run and one walk.
Taylor went 2 for 5 with a triple and scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Taylor had been 0 for 20 in his last six games before Saturday.
Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was activated from the COVID-19 injured list. Yelich struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance in the seventh inning.
Yelich took the roster spot of pitcher Adrian Houser, who went on the COVID-19 injured list after testing positive.
The Giants recalled pitcher Zack Littell from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned outfielder Steven Duggar to Sacramento. Littell pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday.
Pitcher Conner Menez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Sacramento.
RHP Johnny Cueto (7-6, 3.83 ERA) pitches for the Giants and LHP Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.67) starts for the Brewers as this three-game series concludes Sunday afternoon.
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