Joc Pederson hits a clutch homer in Giants win
PHILADELPHIA — Joc Pederson has been one of the Giants’ best hitters, but he was dropped from the starting lineup on Tuesday since the Phillies sent a left-handed starter to the mound in Ranger Suárez. But that didn’t stop Pederson from making a late impact.
After entering the game as a hitter in the seventh inning, Pederson remained in the lineup as the designated hitter and delivered the biggest hit of the night, hammering a two-run shot into the upper deck in right field to cap a three-run 11th inning and lift the Giants to a 7-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Donovan Walton kicked off the decisive rally by smoking a brace over Andrew Bellatti to hit auto-runner Joey Bart and give the Giants a 5-4 lead. Pederson followed up by hitting a low Bellatti slider from 428 feet into right field for his team-high 12th home run of the year, helping the Giants earn their second straight overtime win over the Phillies.
“It’s kind of the one where you pass out,” said Pederson, who is 11-for-23 (.478) with five home runs and 15 RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak. “It was really good. He kind of hits the perfect spot on the bat, and you really don’t feel anything.
Southpaw José Álvarez took out Roman Quinn with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th to end the back-and-forth affair and seal victory for the Giants, who have won five of their last seven games to finish May with a 13-14 mark, their first losing month under manager Gabe Kapler since August 2020.
Rookie Luis González had a career-high four hits and two RBIs, though San Francisco’s roster only went 5-for-18 with runners in the scoring position and left 11 runners on base for extend a match that lasted four hours and 52 minutes.
The Giants’ left-handed big hitters – Pederson, Tommy La Stella, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford – were out of the starting lineup to get a day off against Suárez, but they all ended up seeing action as Kapler emptied his bench and was deploying a line change to try to maximize matchups once the Phillies got the game back to their bullpen.
“These guys are always ready,” Kapler said. “These guys really bought. They came with big sticks. They are prepared. Full disclosure, we don’t want to go through our entire bench on a day when we want to give guys days off, but that’s baseball.
González, one of two left-handed hitters to start Tuesday, put the Giants on the board with a two-run reliever Nick Nelson in the fifth inning. Yastrzemski followed with a sacrificial fly to extend San Francisco’s lead to 3-1, but the Phillies came back to tie the game by scoring two runs over John Brebbia in the sixth.
The two teams traded points in the 10th, with the Giants taking advantage of a defensive error from Jeurys Familia to briefly go ahead. Pederson hit hard ground on the right side that was lined out by first baseman Rhys Hoskins, but Familia was late to get to the sack, then dropped the pitch, allowing Pederson to hit a single — and Wilmer Flores to score from second. the game, sliding past Familia’s pitch to home plate to give the Giants a 4-3 lead.
“I was flying and beat him there,” Pederson said. “What can you say? Speed kills.”
Camilo Doval opened up the bottom of the 10th by pulling Hoskins out and coaxing a popout from JT Realmuto, but Alec Bohm followed with a grounder in the middle that hit the bag from second base and jumped on Walton’s head at second base, allowing it to even out the run to score.
Still, Pederson was successful again with his commanding shot in the 11th to hand a three-point cushion to Álvarez, who was tested after walking Kyle Schwarber to put in a pair of runners with two outs for Bryce Harper. Kapler came out for a visit to the mound, and at Bart’s urging, the Giants decided to intentionally walk on Harper for the second time in the game to bring the potential winning run to the plate and load the bases for Quinn.
The move worked, as Álvarez knocked out Quinn on a substitution to end the game. Afterwards, Kapler praised Bart for the leadership he showed at the time, calling it “one of the best moments of his career.”
“I just felt like the best way to win was to stay away from Harper,” Bart said. “I think Kap, all the credit goes to him. The call he got earlier when we intentionally accompanied him was perfect. I think he got some good moves out there late in the game. This guy is as hot as anyone in the league and one swing could have changed this game. I’m glad we put it.