Span's HR in 10th leads Giants past Phillies

Span's HR in 10th leads Giants past Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Denard Span clapped his hands once in a brief display of celebration after slapping an eighth-inning single up the middle. As he would explain, he was pleased with being able to connect with a pitch despite being fooled.

Two innings later, Span wasn't fooled at all, and what he proceeded to do merited an ovation. Span christened Thursday's 10th inning with a leadoff homer that lifted the Giants over the Phillies, 3-2.

Having weathered a series of nagging injuries this season, Span went 7-for-15 with four runs scored in three games against the Phillies. He's also batting .347 (26-for-75) in his last 19 games.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I just want to try to build off of this," said Span, who broke a 2-2 tie against Phillies reliever Severino Gonzalez (0-2) with his fifth homer of the season.

Moore's strong debut

The outcome enabled the National League West-leading Giants to avoid being administered a three-game sweep by the Phillies, who mustered four hits off starter Matt Moore and five relievers.

"I don't know, we just couldn't solve him for whatever reason," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Moore. "I thought we were going to after that first inning. … He kept pounding the strike zone. He pitched outside and inside. He kept mixing it up, threw some curveballs and changeups."

Span also accounted for the Giants' first two runs by singling and scoring in the first inning and on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Phillies kept pace, as Aaron Altherr doubled home Cesar Hernandez in the first inning, before Freddy Galvis' bases-loaded fielder's-choice grounder delivered their second run in the sixth.

Nunez's impressive play

Nunez atones: As he vowed to do, Giants third baseman Eduardo Nunez shook off the critical defensive errors he committed in the series' first two games and recorded a breathtaking play to open the 10th. Nunez ranged to his left for Altherr's sharp grounder, performed a 270-degree spin and flung a one-hop throw to first base to retire the speedy Phillie.

As Brandon Belt related, Nunez advised him that he might try a one-hop toss if he was forced to make a long throw. Infielders used this ploy regularly in the era of artificial-turf fields. "It's smart to do," Belt said. "The lower the ball is, the more I can stretch out. I think it's quick."

Velasquez fans Pagan

Velasquez again solid but short: It didn't take a crystal ball to see the foreshadowing of another short start from Velasquez after the 24-year-old righty needed 28 pitches to make it through the first inning. He joined Zach Eflin and Phil Klein in not making it past the fifth inning against the Giants. Although Velasquez pitched well, allowing only two runs on three hits and striking out six, the Phillies only had one fresh relief arm and could have used a day of rest with six more to play until an off-day. Velasquez hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in all but two starts this season. More >

"It was tough. I had to push myself and at least get to five innings," Velasquez said. "So I've got to work on some things in the bullpen, utilizing my two-seam, locating my two-seam. My secondary pitches are just kind of brutal right now. So I've got to sharpen up a lot of stuff before my next start."

SF gets Moore pitching: Moore put together a solid debut for the Giants, surrendering two runs on three hits and six walks in six innings. Acquired shortly before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the left-hander allowed three of the first four batters he faced to reach base safely before establishing a groove. More >

"It all started with Matty," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said as he listed the sources of Thursday's success.

Casilla notches 25th save

Bullpen finally loses one: Thanks to three straight starts of five innings or fewer, the Phillies bullpen has had plenty of chances to shine this series. After Luis Garcia allowed two runs in the sixth inning of Tuesday's game, no Phillies reliever allowed a run until Gonzalez gifted a fastball over the plate to Span that landed in the right-field seats to give the Giants a decisive lead. In Wednesday's 12-inning affair, Phillies relievers pitched seven innings of scoreless baseball in a streak of 14 innings without allowing a run. A depleted 'pen added four more scoreless innings Thursday before Gonzalez's fateful fastball.

Mackanin announced after the game that the Phillies top pitching prospect Jake Thompson will make his Major League debut against the Padres on Saturday at Petco Park. Thompson is ranked by as the No. 70 prospect in baseball. In 21 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, the 22-year-old right-hander is 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA.

The Phillies also optioned Elvis Araujo back to Triple-A, though not to create room for Thompson. A corresponding move will be announced before his start Saturday. Taking Araujo's place will be closer Jeanmar Gomez, returning from the paternity list.

Ruiz nabs Pagan after challenge

After Velasquez issued his second free pass of the day to Pagan in the third, the Giants left fielder tried to swipe second base as Hunter Pence struck out swinging. At first glance, the Giants had narrowly avoided a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play. But the Phillies challenged, the call was overturned and Pagan was ruled out at second to end the inning. The review took 1 minute, 14 seconds and was Mackanin's 18th successful challenge on 31 attempts.

In the seventh inning, the Giants challenged a ruling which declared that Altherr was safe as he dove into first base on a pickoff attempt. A video review confirmed that the call on the field stands.

Altherr safe call stands

Giants: For the second weekend in a row, San Francisco will confront the National League East leaders. The Giants typically struggle at Washington, where they own a 3-13 record since the start of the 2011 season. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija will start Friday's 4:05 p.m. PT series opener at Nationals Park.

Phillies: After finishing up a three-game homestand against the Giants, the Phils head west for series in San Diego and Los Angeles. Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.70 ERA) will make his first start since not being dealt at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to kick off the road trip, facing Christian Friedrich (4-6, 4.72) and the Padres at 10:40 p.m. ET.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.