Giants 8, Astros 4
Ryan Vogelsong had a tough time early in his start on Thursday
But after using six relievers a night before, San Francisco
manager Bruce Bochy was forced to stick with him despite giving up
four runs through three innings.
Vogelsong (12-7) bounced back, pitching three scoreless frames
before Hunter Pence hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh
inning and the Giants rallied again for an 8-4 win over the Houston
”He kept grinding and that was a gritty effort,” Bochy said.
”He knew that we needed some innings out of him and he kept going
and ends up getting a win. That shows you how tough he is. That was
a tough start the first three innings.”
The Giants were down 4-0 after four innings. They cut the lead
to one with a three-run fifth inning, and Pablo Sandoval singled in
a run in the seventh to tie it. Pence, who hit a three-run homer on
Wednesday, then caused trouble for his former team again, this time
with a two RBI grounder off Fernando Rodriguez (1-9) to shallow
center field that put San Francisco on top 6-4.
San Francisco came back to win the opener of the series and
Thursday’s win completed their sixth sweep this season.
”Great comeback – a couple of great comebacks here,” Bochy
said. ”They played us tough.”
Joaquin Arias added a solo homer in the eighth for the
Vogelsong allowed seven hits and four runs. Sergio Romo got the
last out of the ninth for his eighth save.
Tyler Greene homered for the Astros, who dropped to 1-9 under
interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. DeFrancesco took over on Aug. 19
after Brad Mills became the first manager in the majors to be fired
”The bottom line is we had lead going into the seventh inning,
and somebody is going to have to step up out in that bullpen, and
they’re going to have to make pitches when they have to,”
The announced attendance was just 12,835, which set a record for
the smallest crowd in the history of Houston’s 12-year-old ballpark
for the third straight game. The struggling Astros were competing
for fans on Thursday night with both the Texans, who were hosting
the Vikings in a preseason game, and Rice which took on UCLA.
Pence walked in the eighth inning and scored from first when
Brandon Belt tied a career-high with his fourth hit of the night –
a double to right field – to extend the lead to 8-4.
Belt, who is from Nacogdoches, Texas, had a large group of
family at the park for the first two games of the series.
Unfortunately his wife and several members of the group went home
early and missed Thursday’s game after becoming ill with what he
thinks was food poisoning the night before.
”Too bad my family already left,” Belt said, adding that he
was up all night Wednesday tending to his sick wife.
Things looked good for the Astros early. Jose Altuve hit a
leadoff single before scoring on a two-out double by Jason Castro,
which a diving Pence barely missed in right field.
Jimmy Paredes singled to center field to score Castro and put
Houston up 2-0.
Houston’s Matt Dominguez, who was called up from Triple-A
Oklahoma City on Thursday, hit his first career triple to lead off
the second inning. He scored on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Bogusevic
to push the lead to 3-0.
Greene’s opposite field solo shot in the third inning left
Houston on top 4-0.
”I was just kind of off early with everything – mechanically,
tempo. Everything was just kind of out of whack,” Vogelsong said.
”It wasn’t really one thing that I changed to get going, it just
kind of started falling into place.”
Houston starter Jordan Lyles yielded seven hits with three runs
in five innings.
Gregor Blanco singled and advanced to third on a one-out single
by Vogelsong in the fifth inning. Angel Pagan cut Houston’s lead to
4-1 with his run-scoring double before an RBI single by Marco
The Giants got within 4-3 when Pagan scored on a sacrifice
Lyles got into trouble in the second inning when three
consecutive singles left the bases loaded with no outs. He wriggled
out of that jam by retiring the next three batters to end the
inning. The last out of the inning was a nifty one, as Lyles
grabbed a comebacker from Vogelsong.
NOTES: Astros’ OF Justin Maxwell entered the game as a defensive
replacement in the seventh inning. It was the first time he’s
played since Aug. 21 because of a bruised right index finger. …
Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel was optioned to Oklahoma City to
make room on the roster for Dominguez. … Houston OF Ben
Francisco, who was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with
discomfort in his right wrist, also sat out Thursday. … The
Astros open a series with Cincinnati on Friday and the Giants
travel to face the Cubs.