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Hicks' walk-off homer caps Giants' sweep of Indians

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- After losing five of their previous six games, the San Francisco Giants got back on track over the weekend in dramatic style.

The Giants swept three games from the Cleveland Indians, with second baseman Brandon Hicks putting the exclamation point on the sweep.

Hicks' two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning gave San Francisco a 4-1 victory Sunday at AT&T Park.

"He'll always remember that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Two outs, to end the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. It doesn't get any better than that."

With the scored tied 1-1, San Francisco catcher Buster Posey led off the ninth with a single off right-hander Cody Allen (2-1). A sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Gregor Blanco moved pinch runner Ehire Adrianza to second.

Allen struck out third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the second out, and then intentionally walked shortstop Brandon Crawford, a left-handed hitter, in order to bring the right-handed-hitting Hicks to the plate.

Hicks pounded a 1-0 pitch from Allen deep into the seats in left field for the walk-off homer.

"It's kind of tough to fault Cody," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He was throwing 96-97 mph and threw a fastball to the top of the zone. That's a tough pitch to get to, but (Hicks) got to it."

Allen said that was not where he intended to throw the pitch.

"I was trying to throw a good fastball down and away, but it didn't work," he said. "It's one of those things. I put myself in a bad count, threw a bad pitch and he hit it."

Giants right-hander Sergio Romo (2-0) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to get the win.

The game featured a spirited pitching duel between San Francisco right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar. Vogelsong pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six.

With the Giants leading 1-0, right-hander Santiago Casilla relieved Vogelsong to start the eighth inning, and Casilla gave up a home run to the first batter he faced. Catcher Yan Gomes belted a 1-2 pitch into the left field seats for his third homer of the season.

That was the only run for the Indians, who were held to three hits Sunday and scored only five runs in the series.

"We have to start making better adjustments during the game, make it harder for guys to get us out," Francona said.

In his previous start, Vogelsong didn't get out of the second inning in an 8-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies in which he gave up five runs and three home runs.

"I watched the tape of that game and noticed I had a major mechanical flaw involving my legs, and I was able to fix it in my bullpen session," he said.

The change obviously worked, as the only hits Vogelsong allowed Sunday were two singles by center fielder Michael Bourn.

"He used all his pitches," Bochy said of Vogelsong. "He got behind at times, but did a great job of getting back in the count. It's just a shame we couldn't get him a win when you pitch like that. He made his pitches when he had to."

Vogelsong said he was happy with his performance.

"I got behind more than I'd like to, but I was able to my mix pitches and get back in counts and get outs. All in all, I'll take it," he said.

In his best start of the season, Salazar pitched seven innings, allowing one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

The only run Salazar allowed came in the fourth inning. With two outs, he gave up back-to-back doubles to Sandoval and Crawford.

"He gave up two two-out doubles, and that was it," Francona said. "That's a pretty good ballgame right there."

NOTES: The Giants drew their 258th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park, a National League record. The previous mark of 257 consecutive sellouts was set by the Philadelphia Phillies. San Francisco's streak began on Oct. 1, 2010. ... Giants C Buster Posey's home run Saturday off Cleveland's C.C. Lee ended Posey's streak of 24 consecutive hitless at bats against right-handed pitchers, the longest such streak of Posey's career. ... Cleveland RHP Justin Masterson, who will start Monday night vs. the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., is still looking for his first win of the season. Masterson is 0-0 in five starts, although the Indians are 3-2 in his outings.
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