Hundley stars as Giants cruise past D-backs

Hundley stars as Giants cruise past D-backs

PHOENIX -- Nick Hundley, who has hit D-backs pitchers well all season, continued to do so Monday by sparking the Giants' five-run fourth inning in their 9-2 victory at Chase Field.

Hundley smashed a three-run home run and the Giants sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth to pile up runs against Zack Godley early. Hunter Pence added a solo homer later in the inning, and the Giants totaled 11 hits on the night.

"I made a bad pitch and Hundley made me pay for it," Godley said. "I threw it right where I wanted it, just a little high, and he just put a good swing on it and it scored some runs. Then, turned around and made a pitch up and away to a guy [Pence] who's a really bad-ball hitter and he hit one the other way. A couple pitches came back to haunt me."

Pence's solo homer

On the season, Hundley is hitting .316 (12-for-38) with 10 RBIs against D-backs pitchers. Eligible for free agency this offseason, Hundley can count on the Giants trying to retain him. Despite playing behind five-time All-Star Buster Posey, Hundley has appeared in 97 games. Posey's 34 starts at first base or as the designated hitter have helped Hundley get extra time behind the plate.

Hundley continued to insist that he wouldn't discuss this season until after it ends. However, manager Bruce Bochy said, "I think Nick is probably pretty happy with the playing time he has gotten this year. When you back up Buster Posey, you know he's going to play first base -- but not as much as he has this year."

Facing a D-backs lineup that featured just one everyday player, second baseman Brandon Drury, Giants starter Johnny Cueto held Arizona to two runs and five hits in six innings while striking out eight. Drury doubled in the first inning and singled in the third to drive in both Arizona runs.

Drury's RBI double

Cueto, who Bochy said will start Sunday's season finale against San Diego, sounded relieved to have improved his personal record for the year to .500 (8-8).

"Thank God," Cueto said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "I'm very happy I was able to get to .500 in a very difficult season."

Cueto's terrific outing

Godley, who could possibly be pitching for a spot in the D-backs' postseason rotation, gave up eight hits and six runs (five earned) over 4 1/3 innings, including two home runs during San Francisco's big fourth inning. It was the second straight start in which Godley allowed five earned runs.

"It wasn't a great outing for Zack," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "I thought he was grinding through most of his work today. He had a couple of moments where he caught a little tailwind and made some quality pitches and seemed to get in a mini rhythm. Overall, I just thought it was a grinding effort for him."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hundley hurts 'em: During the Giants' five-run fourth inning, Hundley made the D-backs pay for pitching to him with a three-run homer. San Francisco had already scored in the inning and had runners on second and third, leaving first base open for Hundley with Cueto standing in the on-deck circle. But Godley chose to go after Hundley, and the Giants catcher deposited a belt-high sinker into the left-field bleachers.

Hundley's three-run homer

Unconventional double play In the the top of the eighth, D-backs right fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker made an incredible diving catch to take a hit away from Joe Panik. Hundley tagged up on the catch and scored from third, but Pence, not realizing that Hazelbaker had caught the ball, took off running to third base as Panik approached second. Hazelbaker relayed the ball back to third baseman Adam Rosales, who tagged out Pence, resulting in an unconventional sacrifice-fly double play.

Hazelbaker's amazing diving grab

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the bottom of the ninth, Rosales hit a sharp grounder to Brandon Crawford at short. Crawford ran to second and tagged Rey Fuentes as he was sliding into second, and Fuentes was called out. The D-backs challenged the call on the field, claiming that Crawford had not tagged Fuentes before he reached the bag. A replay review determined the call stands, and Fuentes was called out at second for the first out of the inning.

Fuentes out after challenge

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Matt Moore will make his 31st start of the season for the Giants in Tuesday's encounter against the D-backs beginning at 6:40 p.m. PT. Moore has struggled overall this season but has raised his game against Arizona, recording a 1-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA in two appearances.

D-backs:The D-backs will host the Giants for the second game of a three-game series Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Robbie Ray (14-5, 2.95) will get the start for Arizona and try to lock up his third win of the year against the Giants.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

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

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