CINCINNATI (AP) — San Francisco’s comeback from an 8-0 deficit Friday was historic.
This one wasn’t as gaudy, but manager Bruce Bochy may have been even more impressed.
Brandon Crawford delivered a tiebreaking, pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning to help the Giants erase a four-run first-inning by Cincinnati to beat the Reds 6-5 Sunday.
“Today’s might’ve been better because we were facing a tougher pitcher,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s hard to say it was better than 8-0, but they battled snd battled and got it done.”
Crawford’s two-run shot lifted the Giants after Cincinnati homered on three straight pitches by starter Jeff Samardzija in the first.
Buster Posey hit a tying, three-run homer in the sixth and opened the ninth with a one-out double against Raisel Iglesias (1-5). Crawford followed with his first homer of the season and second career pinch-hit homer deep into the right field seats, lifting the Giants to their third win in four games.
“It was hard to see,” Crawford said. “I was just trying to focus on seeing the ball and putting a good swing on it.”
San Francisco overcame an eight-run deficit to beat Cincinnati 12-11 in 10 innings Friday night, but Posey leaned toward agreeing with his skipper, especially since the Giants came back against Luis Castillo, the reigning NL Pitcher of the Month.
“He was throwing a no-hitter until the sixth,” Posey said. “He was tough — really tough. Being able to score four runs off him is a nice accomplishment.”
Crawford’s homer was the second ninth-inning blast allowed by Iglesias. Posey hit a tying homer Friday.
“The Giants are a good team and have been for a long time,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’ve seen Raisel really good, too. He’s not happy with the results, but we still like where he is.”
Tony Watson (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth to support the comeback. Will Smith worked around Kyle Farmer’s first career pinch-hit homer with two outs to earn his ninth save in nine tries.
Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich pounced on Samardzija to give the Reds a 4-0 first inning lead.
Suarez followed Joey Votto’s leadoff bloop single to center with a drive that just cleared the fence down the right field line. Winker and Dietrich followed with first-pitch drives to right-center, Dietrich turning his entire body to stare into the Reds dugout as he danced up the first base line after his fourth home run in three games.
The home runs were each player’s ninth of the season.
Samardzija regrouped and retired his last 13 batters. He allowed five hits and four runs with four strikeouts in five innings.
Castillo was dynamic through five innings, facing the minimum 15 batters and allowing no hits and one walk. The Giants reached him in the sixth for four runs.
“I didn’t do anything different in the sixth inning,” Castillo said. “I didn’t know I was throwing a no-hitter. I don’t think I missed with the pitch to Posey. It was a really good pitch. He put a good swing on it.”
Castillo gave up four hits and four runs with two walks. He tied his season high with nine strikeouts.
Samardzija became the first Giants pitcher to allow three consecutive home runs since Brett Tomko on April 18, 2004, against the Dodgers.
The Reds promoted Josh VanMeter from Triple-A Louisville and optioned LHP Cody Reed to the Bats before Sunday’s game. Reed pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief Saturday in his only appearance after being recalled. VanMeter was hitting .336 with 13 home runs in 30 games with Louisville.