J.D. Davis Homers in 9th to Give the Giants a 3-2 Win over the Red Sox
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was so busy conferring with one of his assistant coaches that he was unable to get a good look at J.D. Davis’ home run off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning that gave San Francisco a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
Davis didn’t give his skipper much time to see it, either, crushing a 92 mph slider from Jansen for the walk-off hit.
“I was talking to other people thinking about other things and then he hit the home run,” Kapler said. “I watched it go off the pole. I don’t even know what pitch he hit. I just know he hit a home run.”
Davis’ moment in the spotlight came after All-Star closer Camilo Doval blew a two-run lead and save opportunity in the top of the inning.
Justin Turner’s two-run single against Doval that deflected off diving second baseman Casey Schmitt’s glove and rolled into center field tied the game shortly before Davis came through for San Francisco with his second game-ending hit of the season.
Jansen got the upper hand a day earlier when he got Davis to strike out swinging in the ninth inning Friday that helped preserve Boston’s 3-2 victory Friday.
Davis got to Jansen so quick this time that he didn’t get to appreciate his epic bat flip as he started to round the bases.
“I was really taking the moment just to make sure if it was fair or foul because it was hooking from right to left,” Davis said. “To get the opportunity and get a pitch to hit and come through for the boys and even the series 1-1 was huge. I was just praying that I was it would be fair so that way I wouldn’t have to face Kenley again.”
Jansen dropped to 2-5.
Giants slugger Wilmer Flores continued his hot streak with three hits and an RBI and made a terrific defensive play at first base.
Marco Luciano added two hits as the Giants remained unbeaten when using Ryan Walker as an opener this season. San Francisco won for third time in 10 games.
Doval (3-3) got the win after blowing the save.
Justin Turner doubled for Boston, the 20th time in the last 22 games that the versatile two-time All-Star infielder has had at least one hit.
That was one of the few Red Sox highlights on a day when pitcher James Paxton suffered through an uneven outing. Paxton allowed one run and eight hits in five innings and absorbed his second loss in his last three outings. It marked the sixth time in 13 starts that Paxton has failed to last longer than five innings.
Flores, who has reached base safely in his last 12 games, had an RBI double off Paxton in the first, then added singles in the third and fifth. He also made the defensive play of the game when he snagged Adam Duvall’s high pop-up while falling backward onto the grass in foul territory in the fifth. Flores grounded out and struck out looking in his other two at-bats.
Flores is batting 28 for 71 with 12 extra-base hits (.394) since July 2, raising his overall average to .297.
Sean Manaea allowed two hits over 4 2/3 innings in relief of Walker. Signed by the Giants in the offseason to be a starter, Manaea had five strikeouts and didn’t allow a runner past first base.
“He was clearly in control of the game all the way through,” Kapler said. “Sean was good and we were watching the game and paying attention to the rhythm of it and he was deserving to continue pitching.”
Walker worked through the order once, allowing one hit with three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. The Giants improved to 7-0 in games using Walker as the opener. San Francisco is 13-4 overall this season when using openers.
The Red Sox missed their best chance to score in the first inning when Turner doubled and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. Walker then got Triston Casas to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Leading 1-0, San Francisco doubled its lead in the sixth after Luciano singled leading off and Casey Schmitt was hit by a pitch. After both runners were sacrificed over, Austin Slater hit a sharp grounder to second and Luciano scored on a headfirst slide into home without a throw.
BAILEY’S BULLET THROW
Giants catcher Patrick Bailey made a crucial play in the ninth inning when he threw out Turner trying to steal second base. It was the 18th time in 47 attempts that Bailey has caught someone trying to steal.
“The way Pat Bailey attacks the baseball to throw out a runner, it’s getting more and more special,” Kapler said. “It was already special. But with Camilo out there, the ball is moving pretty quickly in your direction. He’s got pitches that move in three different directions.”
Red Sox: Mauricio Llovera, acquired from San Francisco earlier in the week,was added to the active roster. … LHP Joe Jacques was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford was activated from the disabled list but did not play after missing 11 games with left knee inflammation. … INF Thairo Estrada (left hand fracture) is making progress, according to Kapler. … INF/OF Brett Wisely was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Neither team has announced starting pitchers for the series finale Sunday.