San Francisco Giants batter Minnesota Twins to salvage series finale



SAN FRANCISCO — The slumping San Francisco Giants tried a new look Sunday.

It produced a new result.

Despite holding three regulars out of the starting lineup, the Giants rode a season-best 17-hit attack to a 13-8 win over the Minnesota Twins, allowing them to salvage one win in the three-game interleague series.

Buster Posey and Austin Slater drove in four runs apiece, igniting an offense that had produced a total of two runs and 10 hits in two series-opening losses.

“Anytime you sit regulars like that and get a win, a come-from-behind win, that’s nice,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team’s run total also was a season high. “For the guys to step up and play a real nice ballgame, that’s just what we needed.”

Replacing shortstop Brandon Crawford, first baseman Brandon Belt and center fielder Denard Span, the Giants got a combined four hits, three runs and two RBIs from part-timers Kelby Tomlinson, Aaron Hill and Gorkys Hernandez in snapping a five-game losing streak.

Posey, Slater, Eduardo Nunez and Hunter Pence had three hits apiece for the Giants, who ruined left-hander Nik Turley’s major league debut.

“A lot of nerves. I’ve waited a long time for that,” said Turley, a former Giants farmhand. “Sometimes it was hard for me to control what I wanted to do with my body.”

The Giants trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning due in part to home runs by the Twins’ Eduardo Escobar and Byron Buxton off San Francisco starter Matt Cain.

The first of Posey’s hits, an RBI single, got the Giants within 5-4 before San Francisco rocked the fourth Twins pitcher, right-hander Matt Belisle (0-1), for a game-turning four runs in the seventh.

A walk and Nunez’s third hit, a single, put two on for Posey with one out. The former Most Valuable Player then grounded a double just inside third base, plating the tying and go-ahead runs.

For Posey, it was his first two RBIs in 16 plate appearances this season with runners at first and second.

“Big hit there,” Bochy said. “Kinda lost in all this is we were down. It was a nice comeback.”

Pence, who entered the game in a 7-for-51 slump, followed with an RBI double to the fence in left-center field. It was his second of a career-best-tying three doubles in the game.

“If you know Hunter, you know how much he wants to contribute,” Posey said. “Hopefully it gets him rolling. We all know what he’s capable of.”

Slater’s two-out single scored Pence with the inning’s fourth run, putting Minnesota in a three-run hole.

Slater capped his career-best RBI day with a bases-clearing triple in a five-run eighth inning off Twins left-hander Craig Breslow, breaking the game open.

“That was tremendous,” said Cain, who stood to be the loser when he left the game in the top of the fifth inning. “The guys did a great job of picking me up.”

The Giants had eight doubles and a triple among their 17 hits.

Cain was roughed up for seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.

Four San Francisco relievers, including winner Josh Osich (1-1), combined to limit the Twins to three runs over the final 4 2/3 innings, with all the scoring coming in the top of the ninth inning.

Turley, finally seeing major league action after 10 years in the minors, was tagged for four runs on eight hits, including five doubles, in four-plus innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

“These trips out West can be tough,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor, whose team completed a 6-4 trip and now opens an 11-game homestand Monday against the Seattle Mariners. “We had a lead late. Unfortunately, a disastrous seventh, and we couldn’t control them after that.”

The home runs by Escobar, his fifth, and Buxton, his third, came in the second inning off Cain. Both were solo shots.

Escobar finished with three hits and three RBIs.

Robbie Grossman scored twice and had two hits, including a two-run single, in Minnesota’s 11-hit attack.

NOTES: The Twins will have the No. 1 pick when the Major League Baseball draft begins Monday night. The Giants will select 19th in the first round. … The win allowed the Giants to avoid what would have been their first interleague sweep since they lost three straight to the Kansas City Royals in August 2014. … The Giants’ eight doubles equaled the club record since moving to San Francisco. … RHP Sam Dyson failed to retire any of the four batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning during his Giants debut. He was charged with three runs (two earned). … Minnesota C Jason Castro went 0-for-4 with a walk, ending his 11-game hitting streak. … Twins 2B Brian Dozier led off the game with a single. Giants RHP Matt Cain has allowed seven hits and two walks to the first man he has faced in his 13 starts, a league-high .636 batting average.



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