It seemed as if Pat Burrell had done it again, but this time, he needed help.
The San Francisco Giants trailed the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a four game series, 3-1.
Pat Burrell led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run to left center field. Pablo Sandoval followed with his first home run in his last 46 games to tie the game.
Sanodoval was happy and relieved that he finally had broken his streak of 178 at bats without a home run.
“It was exciting. It was my first home run in 46 games, so when you hit it you feel great.”
In the bottom of the fifth, the Giants loaded the bases without a hit against Cubs’ starter Randy Wells.
Aaron Rowand reached first on an error by third baseman Jeff Baker, stole second, and moved to third on a Freddie Sanchez sacrifice bunt. Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey followed with walks to load the bases, bringing up Burrell.
Wells missed with his first two pitches to Pat. His third delivery wound up in the left field stands, giving the Giants a seemingly safe lead with Matt Cain on the mound.
The fans implored Pat to make a curtain call. Pat spoke to reporters after the game.
“It’s great. It’s just been such a great ride, being back in the Bay Area, Let’s just hope it’s not over. Certainly personally right now I’m on a hot streak and let’s hope it continues. But more importantly we won the game and that’s one we had to win.”
With the Giants, nothing is easy.
Bruce Bochy replaced Matt Cain with relief pitcher Chris Ray, who had some difficult days in Baltimore. Ray was ineffective after striking out the first two batters he faced while trying to protect the Giants’ 7-3 lead.
Ray fell behind Starlin Castro, who wound up with a four hit day, 3-1. Castro, who is rapidly making Cubs’ fans forget Shawon Dunston (but not Ernie Banks), singled to right field.
Kosuke Fukudome hit a deep drive to right center field that caromed off the wall into the glove of center fielder Aaron Rowand for a double that scored Castro with the Cubs’ fourth run.
Marlon Byrd beat out an infield single, bringing up Xavier Nady with runners on the corners. Ray got Nady out on a ground ball to end the inning.
Bochy used Javier Lopez, Guillermo Mota, and Sergio Romo in the eighth inning as the Cubs scored three runs to tie the game at 7-7.
Burrell had been taken out the game for defensive purposes. The Giants would have to win without Pat. They did.
Brian Wilson worked a scoreless ninth, and there was a feeling among the players and fans that the Giants were going to win it in the bottom of the ninth. It is a feeling that those who never played or watched the game don’t understand, but it is real, and it is usually accurate.
Rookie Andy Cashner, who came into the game with a 1-4 record and an ERA over 5.00, gave up an infield single to Aaron Rowand.
Freddie Sanchez moved Rowand to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Cashner wasn’t flustered, but he was in trouble, especially when he was instructed to intentionally walk Aubrey Huff to set up a potential double play.
Buster Posey had a great at bat. The possible National League Rookie of the Year worked out a walk on a low, inside 3-2 delivery to load the bases with only one out.
The count on Andres Torres, who was batting for Brian Wilson, went to 2-0. Cashner had to get the ball over and he did.
Torres hit a deep fly ball over drawn in center fielder Marlon Byrd. The ball landed in deep center field,
Rowand scored, and the Giants won because Pat Burrell gave them the chance to win.
San Francisco Giants Beat Chicago Cubs in Ninth Inning