The Grand Slam: Nearly 5 hours later, Hector Sanchez single beats Dodgers in 12

David Brown
Big League Stew


They sometimes call San Francisco's Hector Sanchez "Hacktor" because he likes to swing. That can be a good thing, or bad, if you're Brandon League of the Dodgers. Sanchez came through with two outs in the 12th, lining an RBI single off the glove of diving second baseman Justin Turner for a 3-2 Giants victory. The hit prevented what surely would have become a five-hour game. Instead, a tidy 4:54.

The Giants had tied the score in the bottom of the ninth, with one out this time, against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Brandon Belt lined an RBI double to left that brought Angel Pagan home from first base.

The Dodgers activated former Giants beard Brian Wilson before the game, but manager Don Mattingly did not use him in relief because that would have been too much fun at AT&T Park.

One of the reasons the game lasted so long: The deliberate pace of the starting pitchers, particularly L.A.'s Josh Beckett, who walked five in five scoreless innings and 90 pitches. Tim Lincecum struck out five in five scoreless of his own, throwing 93 pitches. He also struck out the side in the third for the first time this season.

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MORE WEST-COAST, LATE-NIGHT, FINAL AT-BAT FUN: Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead double in the 11th for the Oakland Athletics, who survived another harrowing roller-coaster experience with a 10-9 victory against the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Trout kept the Angels alive with a solo homer in the ninth inning — but only after Joe Smith allowed a four-run rally in the eighth.

Reporter Greg Beacham of the Associated Press called the A's, who have won four straight, "unshakably confident":

Both teams erased late three-run deficits during two dismal bullpen performances. The Angels trailed 9-6 in the eighth after leading 6-3 heading to the seventh.

“It felt like three different games,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “We got behind early and came roaring back again, but give them credit. The momentum shifts go back and forth, and it comes down to will.”

CENTRAL TIME ZONE FINAL AT-BAT FUN: One pair of Sox is White. The other, Red. When you wash them together in the laundry, which would be an error, you get two sets of pink Sox. When you play them together in a Major League Baseball game, you get excitement: A 2-1 White Sox victory thanks to a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth by rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Mike Carp at first base could have done a better job picking the throw, but Bogaerts put it on himself.

Adam Dunn hit a solo home run against Jake Peavy that was matched by Daniel Nava until Chicago's rally in their last at-bat.

A scary moment occurred when Mike Napoli dislocated a finger stealing second base. But it could have been worse. No break. So, a figurative break. Highlights!

LET'S DO THE SPLITS:  The Pittsburgh Pirates finished off the Cincinnati Reds 8-7 in the conclusion of a suspended game from Monday. The teams combined for 14 runs in five-plus innings on Day 1 before a storm postponed the finish. The only run coming in "Part 2" of Game 1: Russell Martin's RBI single that brought in Andrew McCutchen in the eighth. That put the onus on the Reds to avoid a sweep.

In the nightcap, the Reds won 7-5 thanks in large part to the bat of pitcher Mike Leake. He doubled and hit a two-run homer, and has the most hits of any pitcher since the start of the 2010 season. He has three career homers.

Reds manager Bryan Price is impressed by how Leake approaches batting practice. He’s not just another pitcher trying to get in a few swings.

“He loves the challenge,” Price said. “Even when you come out early, he’s not just hitting. He’s running the bases and working on little things. When we give him the green light early in the at-bat, he works on getting a good pitch to hit.”

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

Follow @AnswerDave

More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:

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

Follow @AnswerDave

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