Giants' latest walk-off heroics topple Phillies

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Both teams felt like winners when they left AT&T Park on Wednesday afternoon after the San Francisco Giants outlasted the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Andres Torres' two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
In avoiding a home sweep at the hands of the Phillies, the Giants added to their reputation of saving their best for when it matters most. For the third time in their current home stand and fifth time already this season, that meant scoring a game-winning run on the final play of the game.
"Ideally we'd like to win a game by more than one or two runs eventually," admitted Giants star Buster Posey, who scored the game-winning run after leading off the 10th with a pinch-hit single. "We've got a lot of guys who love to scrap.""
After his single to center against Phillies left-hander Antonio Bastardo (1-1), Posey took second on Joaquin Arias' sacrifice bunt and third on a Bastardo wild pitch.
Brandon Crawford walked on the next pitch before Guillermo Quiroz, whose home run ended Saturday's 10-inning win over the Dodgers, struck out. But Torres, who entered the game in the eighth inning in a double-switch, then sliced Bastardo's next offering into right field for the Giants' fourth win in six games on the home stand.
"Everybody is a hero on this team," Torres said after his fourth career walk-off hit. "You always have to be ready. You never know what's going to happen."
The Phillies set up the extra-inning dramatics with a two-run rally off Giants closer Sergio Romo to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth. Chase Utley's one-out single scored Jimmy Rollins, who had doubled, to get Philadelphia within one, and Delmon Young followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Michael Young with the tying run.
Javier Lopez (1-0), who relieved Romo to start the 10th, got the win. Romo, who recorded just his second blown save of the season, was the third Giants reliever of the eighth and ninth innings after Barry Zito dominated the Phillies for seven-plus innings, allowing only one run on four hits.
The Phillies entered the game on a two-game winning streak against the Giants but were expecting the worst when veteran pitcher Roy Halladay called a press conference to announce news of his shoulder examination in Los Angeles.
Alas, the news wasn't as bad as some feared. Halladay will need only arthroscopic surgery and could return later this season.
That news, coupled with two one-sided wins to open the series and the ninth-inning rally off Romo, put Phillies manager Charlie Manuel in a much better frame of mind than the one he'd taken cross-country following two losses to Miami.
"I'm very optimistic about that," Manuel said of Halladay's possible return. "I know how much he wants it."
After complaining of shoulder soreness in each of his last three starts, the veteran right-hander was examined Tuesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. The findings were significant: a partially torn rotator cuff, a strained labrum and a bone spur, all in his right (throwing) shoulder.
Halladay, who will turn 36 next week, has been scheduled for arthroscopic surgery to fix all the problems, with the rotator cuff repair the most significant. The expected recovery time is a minimum of three months, which optimistically could allow the two-time Cy Young Award winner to be a factor in a Phillies stretch drive toward a division title and/or playoff berth.
The club recalled right-hander Tyler Cloyd to take Halladay's spot in the rotation. He is scheduled to make his first start Friday in Arizona.
The goal now: Stay in contention into August or perhaps September so that Halladay can return to meaningful games.
"We have veteran players who know how to win. We're not going to panic," Manuel said of his 16-19 club. "We've got to play good every day. We've got our work cut out."
Phillies rookie Jonathan Pettibone didn't pitch poorly Wednesday, allowing only three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but that wasn't nearly good enough to match Zito. In the end, however, neither factored in the decision.
Zito served up a solo homer to longtime friend -- and former Giant -- Kevin Frandsen in the fourth inning, just the second run he's allowed at home this season, but was nearly perfect otherwise, giving up just three other well-scattered hits.
But when the Phillies got to Romo in the ninth, Zito's chance at a fourth consecutive home win were shot.
It turned into a Giants win nonetheless, thanks to Torres.
"Just see the ball and hit it," the outfielder said of his approach on the game-winning at-bat, "because sometimes you can think too much."
Frandsen's homer, his first of the season, offset Hunter Pence's second-inning solo shot, which also came against his ex-employer. Pence, batting cleanup with Posey getting the day off, homered off Cliff Lee on Monday night as well.
NOTES: The Giants have won Zito's last 11 starts at AT&T dating back to the 2012 season. ... Manuel was managing his 1,331st game for the Phillies, tying him for first on the all-time franchise list with Gene Mauch. Manuel has 743 wins over that stretch, 198 more than Mauch. ... The Phillies haven't swept a three-game series in San Francisco since 1984. ... The Phillies open a four-game series in Arizona on Thursday, with Cole Hamels facing the Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin in a duel of left-handers. ... The Giants' 10-game home stand continues Thursday with the opener of a four-game series against Atlanta, with Ryan Vogelsong opposing the Braves' Julio Teheran. ... The Giants had injury news of their own. Reliever Santiago Casilla limped off the field after his eighth-inning stint with a knee injury. The team hopes to update his condition Thursday. Also, Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan underwent an MRI on his sore groin and the pictures showed nothing more than a minor strain. He could be back in the leadoff spot as early as Thursday.