Moore earns first home win as Giants hold off D-backs
By Justin Wise and Rick Eymer
SAN FRANCISCO -- If last week's near no-hitter hitter wasn't enough, Matt Moore confirmed Wednesday that he is settled in with his new club, allowing just one run in 5 1/ 3 innings while helping the Giants earn a series split with a 4-2 win over the D-backs at AT&T Park.
"What a terrific job he did," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "It's hard to be as sharp as he was last game against a right-handed lineup. He did a terrific job."
The victory helped the Giants move within 1 1/2 games of the National League West-leading Dodgers, who split their doubleheader with the Rockies.
Moore appeared dominant while throwing 92 pitches Wednesday afternoon. While he lasted less than six innings, the left-hander protected a two-run lead for the majority of his outing and struck out seven batters. And thanks to RBIs from Angel Pagan and Buster Posey in the seventh, as well as 3 2/3 quality innings from the Giants' bullpen, San Francisco held on for Moore's first home win.
"It feels great," Moore said of the standing ovation he received after leaving the game. "This is the first time I've won at this ballpark. It feels great to be accepted. To have that kind of energy behind you, you can feel it. That's going to go a long way."
The D-backs would pressure the Giants' bullpen in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs against relief pitcher Sergio Romo. But Santiago Casilla got Yasmany Tomas to strike out one at-bat later to end the eighth, and despite giving up Jake Lamb's pinch-hit homer in the ninth, Casilla finished off the four-out save.
"Casilla saved us, that's huge," said Bochy. "Nothing's easy here. They kept battling back."
D-backs right-hander Shelby Miller did about as much as he could to keep Arizona in the game. Making his first start since being optioned to the Minors on July 14, Miller allowed two earned runs on six hits in six innings. But D-backs relievers struggled in the seventh -- an inning in which the group faced eight batters -- and Miller took the loss.
"That's definitely a step in the right direction," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Miller. "He ran into some trouble and got out of it. He did a great job."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rallying early: The Giants created a comfortable cushion for Moore by the time the first inning was over. Posey hit a double to left-center field to score Joe Panik, before Hunter Pence tapped a two-out RBI single to right field to give San Francisco a 2-0 lead.
"Anytime you can score early, it definitely helps," said Posey.
Manufacturing a run:A.J. Pollock got the D-backs on the board with a bit of daring baserunning. He beat out an infield single to open the sixth, and instead of going halfway on Paul Goldschmidt's drive to the wall in center field, Pollock tagged and advanced to second. He stole third and scored on Welington Castillo's infield grounder.
Robbed: With a runner on first and no outs, Goldschmidt hit a line drive to the left-center-field wall. On contact, it appeared like it would do some serious damage. But Giants center fielder Gorkys Hernandez got a bead on in it and made a leaping grab near the wall to rob Goldschmidt of an extra-base hit. Starting in place of Denard Span (neck stiffness), Hernandez certainly displayed he was capable in center.
"That's why he played today, we wanted our best defense out there," said Bochy. "He's really good defensively and just made a great catch. He doesn't catch that ball, now they got second and third. He saved us. That's what defense does." More >
Missed opportunity:Jean Segura doubled to lead off the eighth against Romo to set up a first-and-third, one-out situation, and then bases loaded with two outs. But Casilla struck Tomas, and the D-backs finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine runners.
"This is the big leagues. Sometimes the pitcher is going to get you out," Hale said.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
After a pitch from Moore bounced away from Posey in the top of the first, Segura stole second. However, it appeared that Segura's hand slipped off the bag and that Joe Panik tagged him out. The Giants challenged the call and the ruling was overturned.
Enrique Burgos struck out Hernandez in the eighth inning. However, the Giants challenged the ruling on the field, arguing that Hernandez foul tipped it. After review, the umpires ruled that the call stood.
"We try to win ballgames and don't get concerned with what the other teams are doing. It's up to us to go out and play better ball and win ballgames. It's that old adage, we control our own destiny and we know it. We're going against a very tough club in Chicago [on Thursday], and we're going to have to play our best ball." -- Bochy, on monitoring other teams in the standings at this time of the year
"It was fun getting back into that kind of atmosphere. It was a pretty good setting." -- Miller, on his first start in the Majors since July 6
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: Left-hander Robbie Ray gets the call when the D-backs open a series Friday at 5:40 p.m. MST in Colorado. Ray, 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA over his last four starts, averages 11.23 strikeouts per nine innings, second only to Miami's Jose Fernandez in the Majors.
Giants:Jeff Samardzija will take the mound when the Giants and Cubs begin a four-game series on Thursday at 5:05 p.m. PT in Chicago. Samardzija is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in his last four outings.