Meet Conor Gillaspie, the Giants' hitting star of the NL Wild-Card Game

BY Barry Werner • October 6, 2016

The biggest Giant in Wednesday's 3-0 victory over the New York Mets in the NL wild-card game at Citi Field was Conor Gillaspie.

The little-known third baseman took Jeurys Familia deep for a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to provide the only runs in a night dominated by pitching.

So, who is Conor Gillaspie, who was in the lineup because Eduardo Nunez was left off the roster due to a strained hamstring?

He is in his seventh year in the big leagues, his second stint in San Francisco.

Coming up as a 20-year-old in 2008, Gillaspie had seven plate appearances with one hit. He did not return to the majors until 2011, when he had 21 plate appearances. The following season Gillaspie had 20 plate appearances. All told in those 48 plate appearances, he had a grand total of zero home runs.

On Feb. 22, 2013, the Giants traded Gillaspie to the Chicago White Sox for minor-league pitcher Jeff Soptic.

Gillaspie spent 2013, '14 and part of '15 with the White Sox. The infielder played consistently, hitting a career-high 13 home runs in 2013.

The White Sox traded Gillaspie to the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations on July 24, 2015. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 18.

Gillaspie, 29, signed a minor league deal with the Giants in February. After starting the season in Sacarmento, he appeared in 101 games this year, with six home runs in 205 plate appearances.

"He's been great," catcher Buster Posey said before the game. "Conor's definitely a team favorite. He's a good guy to have around and has really stepped in late with Nunez taking a lot of the games down the stretch. That sometimes is not an easy thing to do, but I think that's a credit to Conor, being ready every day."

Coincidentally, both wild-card games came down to three-run home runs as Edwin Encarnacion hit a similar blast Tuesday to power the Toronto Blue Jays past the Baltimore Orioles in the American League.

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