PHOENIX (AP) — Gorkys Hernandez didn’t know until he got to the ballpark that he’d be in the lineup.
Obviously he was ready, though.
With Denard Span out due to tightness in his hip, Hernandez took over in center field and the leadoff spot, driving in four runs to lead the San Francisco
Giants past the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 on Tuesday night.
Hernandez singled home two runs in the second inning and doubled in two more in a five-run fifth.
“You have to be ready all the time,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen, especially on the bench. You’ve got to be ready just in case when the boss says, ‘You ready?’ I’m ready.”
The Giants bounced back after blowing Sunday’s season opener by allowing two runs with two outs in the ninth inning.
“Gorkys, what a great day he had for us,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He wasn’t scheduled to play. We had to insert him in the lineup and he had four RBIs, had good defense, got some big hits. I’ve said this so many times: The bench plays such an important role during the season.”
Johnny Cueto (1-0) went five innings for the win despite giving up home runs to Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt.
Cueto allowed four runs on six hits, struck out five and walked two. He got on base twice, once when he slapped the ball past first base for a single in a sacrifice bunt situation, the other on an error.
After new closer Mark Melancon blew the save in Sunday’s 6-5 defeat, four Giants relievers combined to allow one hit over four scoreless innings this time.
Carl Crawford homered and Joe Panik had three hits and scored twice for San Francisco.
Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (0-1) was lifted for a pinch hitter after throwing 87 pitches in four innings. He gave up three runs and seven hits.
“Not the best results there,” Corbin said. “They made me work from the get-go.”
Still, the Diamondbacks trailed only 3-2 when Corbin left. The Giants broke loose for five runs, four earned, off reliever Randall Delgado in the fifth.
Crawford led off with a towering home run inside the right-field foul pole.
Eduardo Nunez singled, Chris Marrero struck out and Panik singled to put runners at first and third with one out when Cueto grounded to shortstop Chris Owings for what should have been an inning-ending double play. But the ball got past Owings for an error.
Hernandez followed with a two-run double, and Brandon Belt doubled in another run to put the Giants up 8-2.
Hernandez gave the Giants a 2-0 lead with a bases-loaded, broken-bat single in the second. San Francisco added an unearned run in the third.
Arizona scored twice in the fourth on Goldschmidt’s leadoff homer and Owings’ RBI single.
Archie Bradley, consistently hitting the high 90s (mph) on the ballpark radar gun, struck out seven in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the Diamondbacks.
MISSING THE PLATE?
Cueto got some ribbing from his teammates about his speed when he scored from first on Hernandez’s fifth-inning double.
But he might not have touched home plate.
Cueto rather sheepishly acknowledged it was close.
“I think I touched the plate with my heel,” he said through a translator, “just a little bit.”
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said there was a misunderstanding among his players on how to appeal the play.
Lamb’s two-run homer splashed down in the Chase Field swimming pool beyond the right-field fence. The Diamondbacks keep track of such things, so it was the 56th time a home run landed in the pool since the ballpark opened in 1998. Thirty-six of them have been hit by Arizona players.
Giants: Span said he woke up with a stiff hip Monday and his availability will be determined day by day.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said RHP Jake Barrett, who could be Arizona’s setup man once he’s healthy, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. Barrett opened the season on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Giants: LHP Matt Moore starts Wednesday in the third game of the four-game series.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker, acquired in an offseason trade that sent Jean Segura to Seattle, makes his Arizona debut.
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