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Giants end losing streak with bullpen-fueled, 12-inning win at Yankee Stadium

July 24,2016 03:18

On Saturday, it was Santiago Casilla's turn to speak when he and his bullpen mates starred in the 2-1, 12-inning victory at Yankee Stadium that ended the Giants' six-game losing streak. "Of course I think about it. Of course it would bother me ...and more »



NEW YORK — The front office is working overtime to acquire back-end relievers, maybe even a closer. Giants fans have a favorite ninth-inning pitcher. His name is Anybody But Casilla. They have voiced their feelings on talk radio and social media, sometimes using language not fit for church.
On Saturday, it was Santiago Casilla’s turn to speak when he and his bullpen mates starred in the 2-1, 12-inning victory at Yankee Stadium that ended the Giants’ six-game losing streak.

“Of course I think about it. Of course it would bother me,” Casilla said when asked about the Giants trying to trade for his replacement. “I’ve got a lot of experience. I’ve done the job in the regular season and the playoffs. I have three World Series rings. I have shown I can do the job.”
After surprise starter Johnny Cueto held New York to one unearned run in six innings, the much-insulted bullpen threw six blanks. That allowed the Giants to outlast the Yankees’ Big Three of Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, who combined for four innings in that order.

Photo: Elsa, Getty Images

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants delives a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees on July 23, 2016 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) less
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants delives a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees on July 23, 2016 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. ... more

Photo: Elsa, Getty Images

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San Francisco Giants left fielder Angel Pagan makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by New York Yankees' Starlin Castro during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York. Pagan made the throw to first to catch Brian McCann off the bag for a double play. less
San Francisco Giants left fielder Angel Pagan makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by New York Yankees' Starlin Castro during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York. Pagan ... more

Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP

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New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius, left, scores during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is at right.
New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius, left, scores during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is at right.

Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP

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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York.
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York.

Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP

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New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira reacts after striking out during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York.
New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira reacts after striking out during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in New York.

Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP

Mac Williamson then hit an RBI single in the 12th off Anthony Swarzak, after a Trevor Brown double, for the winning run. Williamson also homered against Ivan Nova in the fifth inning moments after he committed an error that cost Cueto the run.
Derek Law, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Josh Osich, Casilla and Hunter Strickland went face to face against relievers the Giants covet and did not waver.
Lopez, Romo and Casilla escaped jams. Casilla inherited two runners with nobody out in the 10th. After a bunt and intentional walk to Carlos Beltran that loaded the bases, Casilla got Brian McCann on a shallow fly to left and Starlin Castro on a long foul to right and kept the Giants breathing.
Casilla also pitched the 11th and got the win. Strickland retired the Yankees in order in the 12th to save the 4-hour, 25-minute win.
Manager Bruce Bochy said there was “no question” the bullpen starred, but said Cueto had to get top billing.
“He logged a lot of pitches early and ended up giving us six solid innings,” Bochy said.
Bochy was full of surprises. He flip-flopped Cueto with Jeff Samardzija, who now pitches Sunday, a move decided days ago but not announced. Bochy said he always planned to return Cueto back behind Madison Bumgarner after the break.
Cueto responded with nine strikeouts, including five in a row in the fifth and sixth innings, before praising the Giants’ resilience through a losing streak he said he was determined to break.
“We’re like a horse,” he said. “We keep on going with our heads up.”
Bochy’s other surprise was starting Williamson against a right-hander, saying that in light of the Giants’ offensive paralysis since the break, and Williamson’s terrific at-bat against Miller on Friday night, he as hoping for added pop.
Williamson obliged with his homer against Nova, then supplied reporters with what he called a “fun fact.” He and Nova had Tommy John surgery on the same day, with the same surgeon, on April 29, 2014.
The more important fact was Williamson’s ability to overcome a booted ball in the fourth inning that allowed Didi Gregorius to score from first on a Mark Teixeira single against Cueto.
Bochy praised Williamson’s ability to clear his head of the error in time to hit a big home run. Asked if Williamson will face 99 mph righty Nathan Eovaldi on Sunday, Bochy said, “There’s a good chance Mac will be in there.”

Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: hschulman@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @hankchulman.

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