"Honestly, I was pretty embarrassed," Gillaspie said. "I didn't want to get up."
Gillaspie had accumulated only 14 at-bats before Tuesday, mostly as a pinch-hitter. But manager Bruce Bochy liked the quality of the 24-year-old's opportunities. "Disciplined" was how Bochy described Gillaspie's plate approach.
"He's one of the most improved players I've seen in this system," Bochy said of Gillaspie, who hit .297 with 11 homers and 61 RBIs in 124 games this year with Triple-A Fresno.
But Gillaspie confessed to feeling slightly rusty at the plate, though he also hit a fourth-inning single.
"Honestly, I don't know how it happened," Gillaspie said of his line drive that short-hopped the wall near the 421-foot marker. "He threw a fastball and I was ready to hit it. I just tried to put a good swing on it."
Gillaspie said that after he fell, "I thought for sure I was going to get thrown out. If I wouldn't have fallen I think I would have had it easy. But it worked out and it's pretty exciting."
Television replays indicated that Gillaspie might have missed third base. "Oh, I hit third base," he said. "I just hit myself
coming around third base."
Nevertheless, Gillaspie decided to try for home.
"At that point, I looked over and I saw the guy didn't have the ball. He was still trying to get it," Gillaspie said. "I figured I'd just go for it. I was happy just to hit the ball."
Gillaspie, who played briefly with the Giants in 2008, is the first Giants player to hit an inside-the-park homer for his first big league home run since Dax Jones did so on Aug. 18, 1996, in Philadelphia.