SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Salvador Pérez hit a tying, three-run homer in the eighth inning and Nate Eaton scored on a wild pitch in the ninth as the Kansas City Royals rallied past the San Francisco Giants 6-5 on Saturday.
Eaton pinch-ran for Vinnie Pasquantino, who led off the ninth with a double off Giants closer Camilo Doval. Eaton advanced to third on a ground out by Hunter Dozier and sprinted to the plate on a wild pitch by Doval (0-1), barely beating the tag by catcher Blake Sabol with a head-first slide.
“I honestly didn’t even see him dive for me,” Eaton said. “I was just eyes on home plate and doing whatever I could to get there as quick as possible, and trying not to get tagged, I guess.”
With Kansas City trailing 5-1 in the seventh, Franmil Reyes homered off Ross Stripling to cut the lead to 3. Pérez tied the game with a three-run blast off Stripling in the eighth.
“I got it a little bit off the end (of the bat),” Pérez said through a translator. “I had to watch it leave and I wasn’t sure.”
Stripling explained the pitch as a new changeup he's been working on.
“He just kind of muscled it out,” Stripling said. "But I think it’s just too hard. It was 88. That needs to be like 83, 84 and I think he’s in front of it or probably doesn’t have a chance to hit it as hard as he did.”
The Giants loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, but Royals reliever Taylor Clarke (1-0) struck out Thairo Estrada, Brandon Crawford and Sabol to keep the game tied.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save with the Royals.
Bobby Witt Jr. also homered for Kansas City, which clinched its first series victory of the season and is hitting an MLB-low .187. The Royals improved to 2-2 under bench coach Paul Hoover, who has served as interim manager while Matt Quatraro has been away from the team with COVID-19.
“It’s just a big win, never mind the series,” Hoover said. “Just the resilient group that we have in there and to come back and to compete and win, it’s a good feeling.”
LaMonte Wade Jr. homered into McCovey Cove for the Giants’ 98th Splash Hit in Oracle Park history.
Brandon Crawford added two RBI singles for San Francisco, which has lost its first two home games for the first time since 2015. Thairo Estrada and Joc Pederson also drove in runs.
Sean Manaea pitched six dominant innings in his first start with the Giants, limiting Kansas City to one run and three hits with eight strikeouts, but did not factor into the decision.
Manaea and Sabol formed the first Samoan starting battery in MLB history. Sabol, whose mother was born in Samoa, is a second cousin of Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. Manaea’s father was born in American Samoa.
The Giants signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract, reuniting him with his former franchise. “We love Darin, and obviously, we have a lot of familiarity with him around here,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “We think the world of him as a human being. He performed very well for us for the time that he was in San Francisco.” Ruf, 36, spent parts of three seasons with San Francisco from 2020-22, batting .248 with 32 home runs in 247 games. He was dealt to the Mets last season, where he hit just .152. New York released Ruf on April 2.
Giants: C Roberto Pérez, who left Friday’s game after feeling shoulder pain, was placed on the 60-day injured list with a right rotator cuff strain. Austin Wynns was selected from Triple-A Sacramento to replace him on the roster. ... C Joey Bart (back strain) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. He was scheduled to catch six innings Saturday night.
Bay Area native LHP Kris Bubic (0-1, 3.60 ERA) returns home to start the series finale Sunday for Kansas City. Bubic attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose and pitched for Stanford. The Giants counter with RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-0, 0.00), who tossed six scoreless innings against the White Sox in his season debut Monday.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.