SAN FRANCISCO -- This version of the San Francisco Giants can never be counted out of a game.
Overcoming a rare below-average night from Tim Hudson and game-long struggles with men on base, the Giants rallied in the ninth inning for a 5-4 walk-off win over the New York Mets on Saturday.
The game-winning rally started in the unlikeliest of ways -- with a strikeout.
Trailing 4-3, Angel Pagan struck out to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but the pitch squirted away from Mets catcher Anthony Recker. He recovered, but threw wide to first and Pagan beat it out.
Hunter Pence followed that up by ripping a double down the left field line to drive home Pagan with the tying run.
Pence moved to third when Buster Posey flew out to deep left field. After Pablo Sandoval was intentionally walked, Michael Morse sent one sailing to right-center to deliver another unlikely victory.
The Giants moved a season-high 20 games over .500 at 41-21 and now own a 9 1/2-game lead in the National League West over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The game-winning rally took Hudson off the hook. He never seemed to have his best stuff, but battled throughout and left after five innings trailing 3-0. He allowed season highs of nine hits and three walks, and the five innings pitch was his second-shortest outing of the season, topped only by his three-inning stint in Colorado that was interrupted by rain.
The Giants threatened often throughout the night. They put at least two runners on base in four of the first six innings and had a bases-loaded, no out situation in the fifth. They got just one run out of that -- on a Posey double-play grounder.
San Francisco loaded the bases again in the sixth and Pagan delivered a two-run single to make it 4-3. But Posey struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
(c)2014 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services