|San Francisco (48-40) «||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||13||1|
His walkoff single in the 12th moved the San Francisco Giants back into first place in the NL West.
Sanchez's sharp grounder bounced off the glove of Houston second baseman Jose Altuve and went into right field, allowing Pablo Sandoval to score from second base and lift the Giants to a 3-2 win over the Astros on Saturday night.
"That's what we have to do," said Sanchez, who finished with a career-high four hits. "We have to keep working, keep playing and never give up. It felt amazing to get that hit."
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Sanchez was on the hook to be the scapegoat before his second walkoff hit of the season lifted the Giants to their second straight win over the Astros.
Nursing a one-run lead with the tying run at second and two outs in the ninth, San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla threw a wild pitch that bounced away from Sanchez on a swinging third strike by Houston's Chris Snyder. The Giants backup catcher quickly retrieved the ball, but threw wide of first base for an error, allowing Justin Maxwell to score.
"I tried to go too quick on that play," Sanchez said. "I had a lot of time ... but that's what happens when you try to do too much."
"It is rewarding to see a guy who felt so awful a few innings earlier come through," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.
Melky Cabrera had two hits to add to his majors-leading total for the Giants, who moved into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jeremy Affeldt (1-1) got the last out in the top of the 12th for the win.
Casilla gave up both Houston runs in the ninth, preventing Lincecum from earning the win after his most impressive outing of the season.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, who went into the game with the highest ERA in the majors among qualifying pitchers, allowed five hits over eight innings and had a career-high 11 strikeouts.
There had been talk before the game that San Francisco might have its struggling ace skip a start, but that probably won't happen now after Lincecum's sharpest outing of the season.
"I'm going to take the small steps as they come," Lincecum said. "Even though we won I'm going to go home and reflect on this and think about the things I did well and try to duplicate them in my next start."
It's only the second time this season that Lincecum has gone eight innings and it dropped his ERA fell to 5.93, still the highest of his career.
It was a tough evening all the way around for the Astros.
Houston fell to 9-34 on the road and lost shortstop Jed Lowrie to a sprained right ankle.
"I thought we did a real good job in the ninth inning, to be able to battle back like we did," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "Our bullpen battled their way through and they were able to get through to Myers in the 12th."
The Astros didn't do much at all until their two-run rally in the ninth.
Casilla struck out J.D. Martinez to open the ninth then walked Scott Moore. After another strikeout, Justin Maxwell doubled in Moore and later scored from second base on the wild pitch by Casilla and throwing error by Sanchez.
Astros starter Lucas Harrell worked out of a pair of jams early before walking Lincecum and Gregor Blanco leading off the fifth. Harrell got Ryan Theriot to hit into a double play but Cabrera followed with single to right that drove in Lincecum.
Pagan and Sanchez greeted Houston reliever Fernando Abad with back-to-back doubles in the sixth to make it 2-0.
|Hector Sanchez (left) singles home Pablo Sandoval (right) in the bottom of the 12th inning to put the Giants over the Astros. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Jordan Schafer, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||1||.235|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.298|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.253|
|Brian Bixler, SS||3||0||0||0||0||3||1||.225|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||5||0||1||0||0||1||0||.240|
|Scott Moore, 1B||4||1||0||0||1||2||1||.275|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||1||1||.270|
|Justin Maxwell, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.227|
|Wilton Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Fernando Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Bud Norris, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.154|
|Brett Myers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Snyder, C||4||0||0||0||1||3||2||.192|
|Lucas Harrell, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.212|
|Fernando Abad, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brian Bogusevic, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.220|
|Enerio Del Rosario, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Matt Downs, PH-RF||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.171|
|a-grounded out for F. Rodriguez in the 12th|
|b-singled for Lyon in the 8th|
|c-grounded out for Del Rosario in the 9th|
|2B - Justin Maxwell (6, Casilla)|
|SH - Jordan Schafer (5)|
|RBI - Justin Maxwell (25)|
|2-OUT RBI - Justin Maxwell (11)|
|SB - Matt Downs (2, 2nd base off Affeldt/H. Sanchez)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Bixler-Altuve-Moore|
|Enerio Del Rosario||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||7.00|
|Brett Myers (L,0-4)||0||3||1||1||0||0||0||3.64|
|IBB - Cabrera by Fernando Rodriguez|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lucas Harrell 104-63, Fernando Abad 20-15, Brandon Lyon 28-18, Enerio Del Rosario 10-5, Wilton Lopez 29-19, Fernando Rodriguez 21-10, Brett Myers 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lucas Harrell 6-4, Fernando Abad 1-0, Brandon Lyon 2-1, Wilton Lopez 4-1, Fernando Rodriguez 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Lucas Harrell 23, Fernando Abad 5, Brandon Lyon 5, Enerio Del Rosario 3, Wilton Lopez 8, Fernando Rodriguez 5, Brett Myers 3|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Gregor Blanco, RF||4||0||1||0||2||2||1||.252|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||6||0||1||0||0||0||2||.274|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||5||0||2||1||1||0||1||.353|
|Buster Posey, 1B||2||0||1||0||2||0||2||.290|
|Brandon Belt, PR-1B||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.253|
|Pablo Sandoval, 3B||5||1||2||0||1||1||2||.308|
|Angel Pagan, CF||6||1||2||0||0||2||4||.288|
|Hector Sanchez, C||6||0||4||2||0||0||0||.278|
|Brandon Crawford, SS||5||0||0||0||0||0||5||.236|
|Brad Penny, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tim Lincecum, P||2||1||0||0||1||2||1||.120|
|a- Nate Schierholtz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Santiago Casilla, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javier Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Sergio Romo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joaquin Arias, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.244|
|a-struck out for Lincecum in the 8th|
|2B - Angel Pagan (15, Abad), Hector Sanchez (7, Abad)|
|RBI - Melky Cabrera (45), Hector Sanchez 2 (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (13)|
|Team LOB - 16|
|E - Hector Sanchez (3, Throwing)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Santiago Casilla (BS,5)||1||1||2||1||1||3||0||2.97|
|Jeremy Affeldt (W,1-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.87|
|WP - Santiago Casilla (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 114-75, Santiago Casilla 26-17, Javier Lopez 4-3, Sergio Romo 7-5, Brad Penny 21-12, Jeremy Affeldt 3-1|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 5-8, Santiago Casilla 1-0, Sergio Romo 1-0, Brad Penny 2-3, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 30, Santiago Casilla 6, Javier Lopez 1, Sergio Romo 2, Brad Penny 6, Jeremy Affeldt 1|
|Attendance - 42171|
|Game Time - 4:01|
|Temperature - 57|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Lance Barrett, Third Base - Wally Bell|