Giants-Rangers: San Francisco Utilizes The Long Ball In Victory Over Texas

Raymond MullanCorrespondent IJune 20, 2009

PHOENIX - JUNE 11:  Aaron Rowand #33 of the San Francisco Giants at bat during the major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 11, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 2-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When Randy Johnson got back-to-back strikeouts of Michael Young and Andruw Jones to get out of the first inning, you couldn't help but to feel optimistic about the what lied in store, if you are a San Francisco Giants fan.

After Aaron Rowand led off the home half of the first inning with his seventh home run of the season, you could just feel that it was the Giant's night. 

Before the first pitch, any analytical baseball mind would have predicted a tough evening for the Giants

San Francisco, in their last series, were swept by the American League West's second place team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Tonight the Giant's welcomed into town the A.L. West's first place team for a three-game weekend set.

The Texas Rangers came into the day with the third best record in baseball, 37-28.

The starting pitcher for Texas, Scott Feldman boasted a 5-1 record with a 3.70 ERA.

The Rangers lineup is quite intimidating.  They have the third and fourth most productive home run hitters in the American League, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler.  As a team, only the Yankees have more big flies. 

So, when Michael Young led off the fourth inning with a no-doubter, Giants' fans hearts collectively skipped a beat. 

This despite the fact the Giants lead was 3-1 at the time, thanks to the two runs they had tacked on in the third inning.

If it skipped a beat before, hearts nearly stopped at AT&T Park when the first batter Brandon Medders faced in relief of Johnson, Marlon Byrd, drove the first pitch he saw into left center field. 

With the double Byrd drove in two.  This gave the visiting Rangers the lead, 4-3.

In the bottom of the same inning the Giants took back control of the game for good.

Bengie Molina led off, followed by Pablo Sandoval, and they both did what they have been doing a great deal of lately—getting themselves on base. 

Bengie doubled and then moved to third on Sandoval's broken bat single into shallow right field.

After a double play, slumping Fred Lewis came to bat. 

Bengie Molina was still on third.  Lewis had already struck out twice and had made a poor defensive effort on a foul ball in the deep left field corner earlier in the game.  

Lewis made everyone forget about the rest of his evening, though, when on a 2-0 count, with two outs, he turned one around and deposited a souvenir in McCovey Cove. 

The two run homer gave the Giants a 5-4 lead.

Travis Ishikawa added an insurance run for San Francisco in the eighth, with a long ball of his own.

Brandon Medders, Merkin Valdez, Jeremy Affeldt, and Sergio Romo all worked in relief before the Giants closer came in for the ninth to secure the win.  It was save No. 18 on the season for Brian Wilson. 

The San Francisco Giants now have 35 wins to 31 losses and are in second place in the National League West, eight games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.


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