SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Conor Gillaspie celebrated his 30th birthday by delivering a big hit for the San Francisco Giants.
Gillaspie started the winning rally in the 10th inning with a pinch-hit double and Eduardo Nunez ended it with an RBI single that helped the Giants snap a three-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“I love to get them any time I can,” Gillaspie said. “You have to be grateful when you get hits, especially off the bench.”
Gillaspie reached when his drive to right field against Cody Allen (0-5) just eluded Brandon Guyer for a leadoff double for his first career hit on his birthday.
“No wonder the ball got through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The baseball gods took care of him.”
Denard Span then reached on a bunt single that Allen couldn’t handle cleanly, sending pinch-runner Kelby Tomlinson to third. That set the stage for Nunez, who grounded a single to right through a drawn-in infield to give the struggling Giants a rare win with his first career walk-off hit.
Allen had escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the ninth by striking out Joe Panik and getting Gorkys Hernandez to fly out to right field. But he couldn’t get the job done in the 10th as the first-place Indians lost for the fifth time in sixth games.
“Sometimes teams go through periods like this,” manager Terry Francona said. “We’ve just got to figure out a way to win 2-1 as opposed to losing 2-1.”
Sam Dyson (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
The teams traded runs with the Indians getting on the board first on an RBI triple by Guyer with one out in the third inning. But Ty Blach stranded him there and retired eight straight batters to keep the Giants close.
San Francisco then tied it in the sixth against Mike Clevinger when Guyer dropped Nunez’s liner to right for a two-base error and Buster Posey hit a two-out RBI single for the Giants’ first hit since the second inning.
“I’ve got to catch it but at the last second I just kind of for whatever reason I lost it,” Guyer said. “I’ve had that happen to me before and I made the catch. That’s a ball I’ve got to catch.”
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber is battling a sore neck and his health will determine when LHP Danny Salazar comes back into the rotation. Kluber will throw a bullpen session Wednesday before Cleveland makes a decision whether he can make his scheduled start Friday or needs extra time. Francona said Salazar, who has been on the DL since June 4 with a sore right shoulder, will make his next start in the majors.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt returned to the lineup after missing two straight games with a sore left wrist. Belt went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Indians played their first extra inning game since their home opener on April 11. The 84-game streak without extra innings was the longest in franchise history, besting an 81-gamer in 1901-02.
Both starters fared well. Clevinger allowed one unearned run and three hits in six innings with seven strikeouts. He has now allowed four or fewer hits in 15 of 22 career starts.
Blach was almost as tough, giving up one run and seven hits in seven innings.
A night after their sellout streak ended at an NL-record 530 games, the Giants once again fell short of a capacity crowd with an attendance of 39,151.
Matt Cain (3-8) starts the series finale after his planned move to the bullpen was interrupted before it even happened because Johnny Cueto got placed on the DL with blisters on his right hand. Carlos Carrasco (10-4) starts for the Indians.
More AP baseball: apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)