San Francisco - The San Francisco Giants are surging into playoff contention, and Aubrey Huff says there's one reason why: leadoff hitter Andres Torres.
“Since he’s been at the top of our lineup, to me, he’s been our MVP,” said Huff after Torres’ ground-rule single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Giants to a 10-9 victory over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night. “If he gets on base two times, more times than not we’re going to win. He’s really carrying us, especially lately.”
San Francisco needed all it could get out of Torres after blowing leads of 7-1 and 9-2.
He had four hits, including a two-run home run into McCovey Cove in the sixth. He delivered the game-winner after the Giants hit three straight one-out singles off Florida reliever Clay Hensley (1-4) in the 10th. The ball hit on the warning track then bounced over the fence in left-center.
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It’s the second walkoff hit for Torres this season and gave San Francisco a 34-23 record with him atop their lineup.
“This kid’s done everything,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s waited for this opportunity and he’s taking full advantage of it. I can’t think where we would be without Andres.”
Juan Uribe matched his season-high for the Giants with three hits and four RBI while Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 21 games, longest in the majors.
Ronny Paulino, Donnie Murphy and Dan Uggla homered for the Marlins, who scored five times in the seventh and twice in the ninth to force extra innings. The two-run ninth came against San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, who leads the majors in saves.
“If we keep playing like that, I’m sure we’re going to win a lot of ballgames,” Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “We never gave up. We came back, we battled and we tied the game against the best closer right now in the National League ... and that was a very nice comeback.”
The Giants’ offense had 17 hits overall while notching their 17th win in 21 games.
Huff singled twice to surpass 1,500 hits for his career while Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria added two hits apiece but it was Torres who came up the biggest for the Giants.
“We’re not going to give up, that’s our mentality,” Torres said. “I was talking to (special assistant) Will Clark and he was talking about staying through the ball. I always ask because I want to learn every day.”