The Grand Slam: Brandon Crawford's first homer makes big splash for Giants

David Brown

An inning before, the San Francisco Giants came within a whisker of beating the Colorado Rockies with another inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park, like the one Angel Pagan hit 11 months ago. Gregor Blanco, this time, was denied. Rather than leaving anything to chance in the bottom of the 10th, Brandon Crawford decided his home-run attempt should just leave the ballpark altogether.

After he connected against left-hander Rex Brothers, Crawford's first homer of 2014 landed in McCovey Cove and sent AT&T up for grabs in a 5-4 victory for the Giants. It might have been the longest homer in Crawford's life, with him never having reached the water before. It was the 64th "splash homer" for the home team in the ballpark's history since it opened in 2000. In all, 93 homers have reached the Cove.

It definitely was one of Crawford's more impressive blasts considering it came against a lefty, a breed that has given Crawford (who hits left-handed) problems in his career. But he's 7 for 14 against southpaws so far this season. That's more like it, said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who had been considering cutting Crawford's playing time against lefties:

“That’s what you want these guys to do is take anything that you may throw at them that may not have them in the game as a challenge,” Bochy said. “To his credit, he’s done that.”


In the bottom of the ninth, Blanco had exploited another fun quirk of AT&T, the unique fence-scape in right-center field, a part of the park known as "Triples Alley" because so many balls hit there — surprise! — end up as triples. Once in a while, it becomes "Inside-the-Park Alley."

Rockies broadcaster Drew Goodman instinctively went "uh oh" on Blanco's drive to right with two outs. After the ball oddly caromed and outfielder Michael Cuddyer muffed his first pick-up attempt, Blanco had third base made easily. With two outs, it made sense for coach Tim Flannery to send him home and make the Rockies throw him out at the plate. And they did: D.J. LeMahieu's relay to catcher Wilin Rosario was perfect. Rosario tagged Blanco flying by on a head-first slide attempt and he was toast.

Both sides couldn't help but be reminded of this:

The Rockies could feel vengeful satisfaction for about one inning.

MORE WALK-OFF MADNESS: The only quirky note about Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox hitting a game-ending home run against the Cleveland Indians was the way he (inadvertently?) made fun of Nick Swisher as he rounded first base.

Swisher, of course, has never met a celebration he didn't like — as long as he was the guy performing it. Well, Swish, sometimes it's the other guy who gets to fly around the bases like he's a toddler pretending to be an airplane. The White Sox won 5-4.


None of these home runs by the Los Angeles Angels ended the game, and none landed in water, but they certainly set the tone against Bartolo Colon in the first inning. With out out, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibañez combined to hit three consecutive home runs at the Big A for an early lead on the New York Mets. The Angels hit four homers in all against Colon (who allowed 14 all season in 2013) and bludgeoned the Mets in a 14-2 romp. Colon, 40, chalked it up to having a bad day:

Colon gave up nine runs and 11 hits in five innings, allowing at least one hit to every batter in the Angels’ starting lineup after pitching seven scoreless innings last Tuesday night in Atlanta.

“At that moment, you’re not thinking: `Why is this happening?’ It’s just part of the game,” Colon said through a translator. “Everything felt all right. They just felt a little bit better than me.”

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at and follow him on Twitter!

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