SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Matt Moore hardly needed the warm, standing ovation to realize what late-season baseball is like in the Bay Area.
It still meant plenty for the pitcher to receive such a greeting from San Francisco’s sellout crowd. He is playing for something as September begins, in the middle of a pennant race with his new club.
Moore struck out seven over 5 1-3 innings for his first career victory at AT&T Park, and the Giants got another impressive outing from their new starter to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Wednesday.
Moore walked off in the sixth to a roaring ovation and tipped his cap. The left-hander had lost his initial two home starts since being acquired from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.
“It feels great to be accepted and to have that kind of energy behind you. I can feel it,” Moore said. “You don’t really watch the scoreboard in April and May, so just right now knowing where we’re at, we’re all focused on getting ourselves on a good hot streak. It does feel like we’re playing for something more than you are in April and May.”
Moore (2-3) gave up one run and five hits in his first game since losing a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium. He was backed by a sensational running catch on Paul Goldschmidt’s sixth-inning drive from center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, who crashed into the wall to make the play.
Manager Bruce Bochy was careful not to overwork Moore, who was done at 92 pitches after throwing 133 during the no-hit try at Los Angeles.
Buster Posey drove in a pair of runs for San Francisco, which is in second in the NL West behind the Dodgers.
Bochy is challenging his players to be more consistent, saying, “It’s up to us to play better ball.”
Santiago Casilla relieved Sergio Romo with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and struck out Yasmany Tomas. Casilla finished for his 29th save, giving up Jake Lamb’s two-out homer in the ninth.
Shelby Miller (2-10) was called up from Triple-A Reno to start. Pitching in the majors for the first time since being sent to the minors on July 14, he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
“I felt good mechanically, kind of a little jittery there in the first inning, just getting back in that atmosphere, which is always so much fun to be a part of games where fans are there,” Miller said of big league crowds.
Posey doubled home a run in the first. Hunter Pence added an RBI single later that inning in his second game back after missing three with a strained right hamstring.
Angel Pagan had an RBI double in the seventh and Posey hit a sacrifice fly as the Giants added insurance.
San Francisco third baseman Eduardo Nunez got hit by Miller’s 91 mph fastball in the left ribcage area but stayed in the game in the bottom of the sixth after an athletic trainer and Bochy checked on him. He is expected to be fine to play Thursday.
Arizona dropped just its fifth game in the last 16 at AT&T Park.
The Giants wrapped up their tough August at 11-16 and now leave on a 10-game, 11-day road trip beginning with four games at Wrigley Field against the runaway NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.
“This road trip is big. They’re all big now,” Bochy said, noting of the Cubs series: “It’s critical. I don’t know if it’s quite make-or-break.”
Conor Gillaspie’s last two hits for the Giants have been pinch-hit triples, on Sunday against Atlanta and in the seventh Wednesday ahead of Pagan’s double that drove him home.
Diamondbacks: Arizona optioned RHP Vicente Campos to Reno to make room for Miller’s return to the rotation.
Giants: CF Denard Span was out of the lineup after leaving Tuesday night’s loss in the seventh inning with a stiff neck. … RHP Jake Peavy was still sore a day after receiving several shots of cortisone in his back.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (7-12, 4.28 ERA) pitches against Colorado at Coors Field having gone 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA with 29 strikeouts and seven walks in his last four starts.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.00) pitches the opener Thursday against his former Cubs team in Chicago for the highly anticipated series.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.