Left-hander Andrew Suarez shut out the Texas Rangers over seven innings, and Brandon Crawford capped a four-run first inning with a three-run home run Saturday afternoon, propelling the San Francisco Giants to a 5-3 home victory.
On a day when star catcher Buster Posey was shut down for the rest of the season in order to have hip surgery, the Giants held on to win for the third time in their last 10 games.
They left the ballpark after the afternoon start 8 1/2 games back in the National League West race and NL wild-card chase with 31 games left.
Crawford’s first-inning homer, his 12th of the season, came after a double by Andrew McCutchen, a single by Brandon Belt and a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria had given the Giants a 1-0 lead against Rangers starter Martin Perez (2-6).
One out after a Nick Hundley walk, Crawford unloaded for his first homer since Aug. 6 to make it 4-0.
Suarez (5-9) took it most of the rest of the way from there, limiting the Rangers to three hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out five.
The rookie hadn’t fared well in his previous four August starts, going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. He was facing the Rangers for the first time.
Hunter Pence delivered a pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning to make it 5-0. It was his second home run of the season.
The homer came off Rangers reliever Matt Moore, who had replaced Perez after he’d allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. Perez walked one and struck out four.
As they did Friday night, when a two-out error by Giants second baseman Joe Panik set up Rougned Odor’s game-tying home run, the Rangers got a little help from the San Francisco defense to make a late comeback bid.
Down 5-0 with two outs in the eighth, the Rangers got a break when Giants left fielder Austin Slater dropped Joey Gallo’s potential inning-ending fly ball.
Shin-Soo Choo followed with a single, after which Odor made the Giants pay again, this time launching a three-run homer off reliever Hunter Strickland to cut the Texas deficit to 5-3.
The homer was Odor’s 17th of the season.
Strickland retired Elvis Andrus to end the eighth, before closer Will Smith, who blew a save in Friday’s loss, allowed a one-out walk, infield single and wild pitch that put the potential tying runs in scoring position in the ninth.
Smith then struck out pinch hitter Adrian Beltre but walked pinch hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa, loading the bases and prompting Mark Melancon to enter the game and retire another pinch hitter, Carlos Perez, on a fly ball to end it.
Melancon was credited with his second save.
Steven Duggar had two hits for the Giants, whose win was their seventh in 19 interleague games this season.
Odor collected a pair of singles to go with his home run for the Rangers, who had won two in a row.
—Field Level Media