© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
08/12/09 9:50 PM ET
Uribe's walk-off shot caps wild Giants win
Questionable call denies Lincecum complete-game victory
By Andrew Pentis / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- There wasn't a Giants-Dodgers brawl Wednesday at AT&T Park, though the benches cleared and passions were certainly high in front of 43,300 equally charged-up fans. And through it all, with the teams' hatred at its ugliest for a fifth-inning fracas and at its best with extra-inning heroics, San Francisco proved victorious. Juan Uribe's walk-off two-run home run -- which sailed, to the delight of Giants fans everywhere, over Manny Ramirez's head in left field -- resulted in a 4-2 win. "Anytime we play the Dodgers, the rivalry is there. It was an intense atmosphere," said first baseman Travis Ishikawa, who was at the center of a ninth-inning play that made a 10th frame necessary. Armed with a 2-1 lead, Giants ace Tim Lincecum had retired nine batters in a row before yielding a single to Rafael Furcal, but it wasn't any ordinary base hit. Every Giant was convinced Furcal had been thrown out by Uribe, who made a running toss over to first. Bench coach and acting skipper Ron Wotus -- managing because Bruce Bochy was ejected in the second after arguing a call at first base -- was booted for arguing the call of crew chief Gary Darling. Two batters later, Andre Ethier singled on a hanging changeup to drive Furcal home and tie the game at 2. "Nobody wants to run into a situation where the outcome isn't made by [players]," Lincecum said. "We ran into that a couple of times. Obviously I didn't bounce back and make a good pitch [to Ethier]." Added Ishikawa, "That was frustrating. Gary and I disagreed on the [Furcal safe] call." That only set the stage for Uribe, who had flubbed an easy pop fly in the top of the 10th and made outs twice with runners in scoring position earlier in the game. Facing reliever Guillermo Mota (3-4) in the ultimate frame, Uribe saw two straight sliders and, down 0-2 in the count, was "looking for contact." "The last pitch was a little bit of a hanger," he said with a snicker. "See the ball, hit the ball." Bochy, who witnessed much of the fireworks-filled day on television, experienced the game like a fan, sitting down and watching. His new favorite player was Uribe. "It's so important in this game -- dealing with those tough times, at-bats, errors -- [that] you don't dwell on it," said Bochy of Uribe's earlier miscues. "He comes up there, a chance to win the ballgame, and he wins it for us." Lincecum didn't secure his 13th win -- Brian Wilson collected his fifth by pitching the final 1 1/3 innings allowing just the baserunner who reached on Uribe's error -- and the Giants starter left having allowed both Dodgers runs on four hits. He struck out seven to bring his season total of whiffs to 205, making him the first Giant to cross that threshold in back-to-back seasons since Jason Schmidt did so in 2003-2004. The late-game excitement came after a fifth-inning fracas: In Dodgers reliever James McDonald's second inning of work, Eugenio Velez smacked a leadoff double and scored by upending catcher Russell Martin on Freddy Sanchez's ensuing single for the team's initial 1-0 lead. Martin gathered himself, then received a friendly pat from Velez after the play. "He came up from his popup slide right under where Martin was coming down," Lincecum said. "It looked kind of bad, but I don't think it was on purpose at all." Martin said he didn't think Velez's slide was the motivation for the inside pitch that followed. Pablo Sandoval, the next batter, was brushed back by a first-pitch heater from McDonald that appeared to graze Sandoval's left elbow, prompting the Giants third baseman to stare out at the mound and raise his arms. Both teams' benches cleared, as Edgar Renteria (who was not in the starting lineup) led the Giants' apparent charge out to confront Martin. Nothing more than some pushing and shoving occurred, and no players were tossed from the game. "It's going to happen," Bochy said of the flaring tempers on both sides. "It didn't get out of control. That's the big thing. "We kept our poise as good as we [could] -- except for the managers." All three of the skippers who led the club in Wednesday's wild matinee -- first Bochy, then Wotus and finally third-base coach Tim Flannery -- were set to board a bus and a plane with the team as it headed on the road for a three-city, 11-game road trip, the longest of the season at a point in time where the Dodgers extended their National League West lead over the Giants to 6 1/2 games. "I think the guys know what's ahead of us," Bochy said. "This will be a critical road trip."
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.