NEW YORK -- Ryan Vogelsong avoided eye contact as the bottom of the ninth inning approached. He didn't answer when coaches asked how he was feeling, but he finally spoke up when catcher Buster Posey walked over.
"I said, 'Bus, I'm tired, but I'm not coming out,' " Vogelsong said.
Vogelsong wanted his first career nine-inning complete game and he got it, throwing just 102 pitches in a quick 5-1 win over the New York Mets. On a day the Giants called up two young prospects in hopes of giving a slumping team a boost, it was the 37-year-old Vogelsong who put the team on his back, no-hitting the Mets through five and finishing with a two-hitter. His only previous complete game was a six-inning, rain-shortened game in 2011.
"I knew he wanted to finish it in the worst way," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Vogelsong has gone through a brutal stretch, dealing with a lack of run support and a virus that sapped him of strength. He had lost five of his previous six starts despite a 3.48 ERA during that span, but the Giants gave him plenty of support Friday. They scored two runs in the second and went up 4-0 when Hunter Pence tripled with Brandon Crawford on third and Vogelsong on first in the seventh inning. Posey said Vogelsong looked tired for a couple innings after scoring from first.
"That, as old as he is, took a lot out of him," the catcher said, smiling.
Vogelsong was energized as the bottom of the ninth approached. He knew he had never pitched in the ninth inning in the big leagues, and he also knew Bochy had relievers warming up in case a runner got on. Three straight grounders clinched a win on the first night of a 10-game trip.
"You want to stay out there until they take the ball from you," Vogelsong said. "I was like, 'Man, I actually get to shake hands with guys on the field in a game I pitched in.' "
Two of those guys were called up from Double-A Richmond on Friday. Infielder Matt Duffy will platoon at second and back up short and third. Outfielder Jarrett Parker will provide a left-handed bat off the bench until Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan return. Bochy said Belt and Pagan could be back in the lineup by Tuesday's opener in Milwaukee.
Duffy's seventh-inning single drove in the Giants' fifth run. The night was a blur for a 23-year-old who was in his second week with the San Jose Giants at this time a year ago.
"It still hasn't really hit me," Duffy said. "I still can't believe I'm here."
Before the game, Duffy said he was held up in the low minors because he spent too much time thinking about mechanics. Now it's "see the ball, hit it hard," he said.
Parker, 25, earned a promotion by hitting .330 in July with five homers, five doubles and 16 RBIs. He said he has worked hard to limit his strikeouts and improve his focus and mental toughness at the plate.
"I've always been a late bloomer," he said.
(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