Giants observations: Brandon Crawford walks off D-backs as SF wins series

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What we learned as Giants come back to walk off D-backs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's been a rough series for Brandon Crawford, but he found a way to end it in style.

Crawford's walk-off single gave the Giants a 4-3 win on Wednesday afternoon and clinched their first series win since June 17-19. They took two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks and will now close out their first half with four against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Giants trailed most of the afternoon but came back with three runs in the seventh and eighth. Brandon Belt, a big part of the first rally, opened the ninth with a single off old friend Mark Melancon and went to third when Mike Yastrzemski lined a double off the wall. A walk of David Villar loaded the bases and Crawford lined the first pitch to right to end the game.

The Giants entered the day with a 4-5 record in bullpen games, and Sam Long -- the "bulk innings" guy in most those games -- struggled as the second pitcher to take the mound. The Diamondbacks scored two runs in the second and took a three-run lead when Ketel Marte homered to center in the third.

The Giants had very little going against Zac Gallen through six innings, but Belt's seventh homer of the year ignited a brief rally in the seventh. They got within a run and put the tying run on second, but lefty Joe Mantiply came in and struck Brandon Crawford out on three pitches.

Gabe Kapler went with an all-time line change in the eighth, sending up four consecutive pinch-hitters. The first one -- Wilmer Flores -- got the job done, tying the game with a solo homer.

Here Comes The Captain

Belt's right knee has started to act up again and it's possible he'll need to have it drained during the All-Star break, but there's certainly nothing wrong with his swing. Belt entered the game with six hits in his last seven at-bats, including a double on Monday night that would have been a homer in the 29 other parks. On Wednesday, in better conditions, he did conquer Triples Alley.

Belt hit a 419-foot rocket into the visiting bullpen with one out in the seventh, finally getting the Giants on the board.

That brought some life back to Oracle Park and the Giants tacked on another run when Thairo Estrada singled, Yastrzemski doubled and David Villar hit a sacrifice fly.

Wilmer. Again.

If you made a list of Giants you would want up in a big spot, Flores would probably be at the top of it. He once again showed why in the bottom of the eighth. Mantiply threw him a breaking ball below the zone and Flores dug it out, launching a no-doubter to left.

The homer was the eighth pinch-hit blast of his career and his 13th overall this season. He became the first Giant to reach 50 RBI this season and is now just nine away from his previous career-high.

Fitting In

Tyler Rogers has struggled in his usual late-game role this year, causing a bit of a shift in the bullpen. He's thriving in the staff's bullpen games, though.

Rogers entered with the bases loaded in the third inning and got Geraldo Perdomo to pop out and end the threat, keeping the Giants within three. He ended up throwing 2 1/3 hitless innings, walking two and striking out one.

Rogers' last two appearances have come in bullpen games and he has thrown 4 1/3 hitless innings. It's a step in the right direction for a pitcher who had a 6.00 ERA at the start of June but has gradually chipped away. Since getting charged with seven runs on May 24, Rogers has allowed six runs in 25 1/3 innings over 21 appearances. That has lowered his ERA to a much more respectable 4.25.

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