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Pagan blast Giants past Diamondbacks with HR

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Doctors removed one of three tendons in outfielder Angel Pagan's left leg to repair a hamstring surgery last June 25. His bat and glove were not affected.

Pagan hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run eighth inning that lifted San Francisco to an 8-5 victory over Arizona on Thursday afternoon, concluding a series in which he was 8-for-19 with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs.

"There was a lot of pain I had to go through to come back," said Pagan, who returned for the final month of the 2013 season. "I wanted to prove to them that I'm still the same. I worked really hard for that. My left leg feels better than my right."

Giants catcher Hector Sanchez doubled in the first run in the eighth and pinch-hitter Mike Morse singled to tie the score at 5 before Pagan hit the first pitch he saw from Arizona reliever Will Harris (0-1) for his first homer of the season.

"In that situation, I am just trying to get a good at-bat so I can put us on the board," Pagan said.

"It was where I wanted to throw it," said Harris, who threw a cut fastball to the low-inside quadrant. "He's an aggressive hitter. Good hitters can hit good pitches."

Left fielder Mark Trumbo and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt had two-run homers for the Diamondbacks (1-5) and second baseman Aaron Hill had three hits, including an RBI double for a 5-3 Arizona lead in the seventh inning.

Giants right fielder Hunter Pence walked with one out in the eighth and scored on Sanchez's double. Harris intentionally walked pinch-hitter Buster Posey with two outs before Morse singled to tie the score.

The Giants overcame a four-run deficit after seven innings of a 9-8 victory in the first game of the series on Monday and they trailed 4-2 and 5-3 on Thursday.

"We're not going to let him beat us," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of walking Posey, whose two-run homer in the ninth inning won the first game of the series.

"They did this to us last year. We have to find a way to stop it."

Pagan had three hits and was a triple short of the cycle for the Giants (3-1).

"We're trying to be patient, not panicking," Pagan said of the comebacks. And it's working. I just go out and play as hard as I can. I always try to go 4-for-4 on defense."

Right-hander Jean Machi (2-0), who gave up Hill's double before getting the final out of the seventh, was the winner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt homered just inside the right field foul pole in the first inning off right-hander Bronson Arroyo, making his first start for Arizona after signing a two-year, $23.5 million deal in the offseason.

Belt has three homers and five RBIs in the four-game series and has seven of his last 20 homers against the Diamondbacks.

Goldschmidt gave Arizona a 2-1 lead in the last of the with his sixth homer in 23 career at-bats off Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Goldschmidt, who hit his first career homer off Lincecum on Aug. 2, 2011, is 11-for-23 with 13 RBIs in his career in the matchup.

"I couldn't tell you," Goldschmidt said of the reason for his success against Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young winner. "Fortunately, I got a good ball to hit. This is a good hitting team. We need to find a way to score more runs."

Sanchez tied the score at 2 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth after third baseman Pablo Sandoval doubled and Pence singled to open the inning.

Tumbo's two-run homer off Lincecum with two outs in the sixth made it 4-2, but Giants pinch-hitter Brandon Hicks cut the gap to one with his first career pinch-homer in the seventh.

Arroyo, who was delayed by a back injury in spring training, gave up five hits and two runs in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 82 pitches.

"I was a little gassed," he said. "It was a grind."

Lincecum gave up eight hits and four runs in six innings.

NOTES: The game delayed about five minutes one out into the first inning when a swarm of bees gathered around the center field scoreboard as Pagan flew to center for the first out. ... San Francisco C Buster Posey and Arizona C Miguel Montero did not start, when the teams had an afternoon start after playing the night before. "It's kind of hard to do because he's our guy," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of benching Montero. "But we said we are going to do it, and it should go a long way for him." Giants manager Bruce Bochy also spoke about monitoring Posey's playing time this season. ... Giants RHP Tim Hudson, who threw 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday, has faced 201 batters at hitter-friendly Chase Field and not given up a home run. "It's a credit to how he commands the ball and keeps it down," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ... The Giants open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Friday, the next step in a streak of 22 straight games against the National League West to open the season.
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