Sandoval sinks D-backs with 9th-inning homer off Putz

PHOENIX — A sore elbow couldn’t slow Pablo Sandoval.

The San Francisco third baseman hit a
two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth inning and the Giants
rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Sandoval was taken out of the Giants’
win Monday by manager Bruce Bochy after hitting a tying RBI single in
the fifth inning because of discomfort in his right elbow. After
Tuesday’s game, his right arm was wrapped in ice from his forearm to
shoulder, but the pain couldn’t erase his wide smile.

“I don’t want to come out of the game,”
Sandoval said. “But he made a good point and said, `I’d rather lose you
for two at-bats than for three weeks.’ “Today, I came out and felt good,
less pain. I told Bochy I want to play. I don’t want to come out. I
just want to play.”

Sandoval also singled in the fourth against Arizona starter Trevor Cahill and is 11 for 17 in his past four games.

“He’s swinging good,” Bochy said. “When
you get a good hitter like that in the zone, it’s fun to watch. We
weren’t sure he was going to play, but he shows up, says he fine, and
ends up swinging the bat well.”

Cahill left after allowing a leadoff
single to Angel Pagan, the Giants’ fourth hit against the right-hander.
J.J. Putz (2-1) came on for Arizona and struck out Marco Scutaro, and
quickly went ahead 0-1 on Sandoval.

But Sandoval drove Putz’s next pitch, a
hanging split-finger fastball, deep into the right-field stands to give
the Giants the lead and hand the struggling Diamondbacks closer his
fourth blown save in nine chances.

“It seems like every time I leave one
of those up it’s getting crushed right now,” Putz said. “It’s
frustrating. I made some pretty good pitches on Scutaro, some good
pitches on (Buster) Posey (following Sandoval). The one to Sandoval just
didn’t come out of my hand right.”

It was San Francisco’s second straight come-from-behind victory, rallying for a 6-4 win in the series opener Monday.

Sandy Rosario (1-0) recorded the last
out of the eighth inning for his first career win, and Sergio Romo
pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

Josh Wilson had given the Diamondbacks a
1-0 lead with a home run in the bottom of the eighth off Santiago
Casilla, who had come on after Madison Bumgarner threw seven scoreless
innings. It was Wilson’s first homer since June 25, 2011, for Milwaukee
at Florida.

The late-inning power display was in
sharp contrast to the game’s first 7 1/2 innings. Bumgarner allowed
three hits, walked one and struck out two before giving way for a pinch
hitter when his spot in the lineup came up in the eighth.

Cahill’s line to that point was
slightly better, with five strikeouts to go with the three hits and one
walk through eight innings.

“I figured he would leave me in until I
got somebody on,” Cahill said. “It’s real frustrating when it is so
close and you can’t finish it out. You’re going to kick yourself even
more than if you only went three and gave up 10 runs. It’s a bad
feeling.”

Only two players had reached base
during the game for either side, both in the fourth. Scutaro singled to
lead off the inning for the Giants and went to third on a single and
fielder’s choice, while Martin Prado singled to start the bottom of the
inning and advanced on a two-out single.

The pitchers’ duel was nothing new for
Cahill, who has pitched in only one game decided by more than two runs
so far. In his last four starts, both teams have combined for an average
of 4.0 runs per game, including a 1-0 victory over Los Angeles on April
14 in which Cahill earned a no-decision after trading zeroes with Josh
Beckett for 7 1/3 innings.

Over his past two starts, Cahill has allowed two runs – one earned – on eight hits over 13 innings.

“I didn’t want him to take the loss,”
said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. “I had confidence in my closer and it
didn’t work out.”

Bumgarner struck out two, threw 62 of
102 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 1.55. He became the first
Giants pitcher with at least six starts of two or fewer runs since
Kevin Correia went seven such outings in 2007.

“It’s probably been a little bit of
everything,” Bumgarner said. “The command’s been there, the mechanics
have been good and I’ve felt the same pretty much every time out. I
think if you’re feeling good and your mechanics are going good it
doesn’t matter if you have to sit down for a long inning or get up and
down so much.”

NOTES: Arizona SS Didi Gregorius, who was hit in the head by a pitch from Colorado’s Josh Outman on Friday and subsequently placed on the 7-day concussion list Sunday, passed all concussion exams Tuesday and was cleared to resume baseball activity. The rookie had appeared in seven games, going 11 for 27 with a pair of home runs. … Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Scutaro will be given the day off Wednesday ahead of San Francisco’s scheduled off day Thursday. … Arizona signed OF Juan Rivera to a minor league contract. Rivera had been with the New York Yankees in spring training on a minor league deal after hitting .244 with nine homers and 47 RBIs for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. … The Diamondbacks traded minor league IF Mark Teahan to Cincinnati for a player to be named later. … Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt, eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, is scheduled to throw either during an extended spring game or for Class A San Jose and be reinstated Friday. … Arizona RHP Brandon McCarthy will seek his first win with the Diamondbacks when he faces RHP Tim Lincecum and the Giants in the series finale Wednesday. Lincecum is 7-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 career starts against Arizona, but has lost his last six against the Diamondbacks dating to Sept. 29, 2010.