6 - 4 Final/11
  for this game

Sandoval sends Giants over Astros in extras

Aug 22, 2011 - 2:39 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to help San Francisco avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of Houston with a 6-4 win.

In the 11th with Mark Melancon (6-4) on the mound, Cody Ross worked a one-out walk before Jeff Keppinger flied out. Sandoval then stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch over the wall in center for the 6-4 advantage.

Ramon Ramirez then set the Astros down in order in the bottom of the frame for his third save of the season.

Brandon Belt hit a three-run home run while Mike Fontenot also drove in a run for the Giants, who snapped a three-game slide. Jeremy Affeldt (2-2) got the win for pitching two scoreless innings.

The win, coupled with Arizona's loss to Atlanta on Sunday, moved the Giants just 1 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West.

J.D. Martinez went 3-for-5 with two RBI for the Astros, who were looking for their first five-game winning streak of the season.

Neither starter factored into the decision as Henry Sosa was touched for four runs on four hits over five innings for Houston while Dan Runzler, making his first big league start in place of an injured Jonathan Sanchez, gave up four runs on three hits in just 1 2/3 innings of play.

"[Runzler] was all over the board. He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

San Francisco grabbed the lead with a swing of the bat and two men on as Belt hit his fifth home run of the season for a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

"It seems like that one inning got [Sosa] again, but he seemed to settle down after that," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

The Astros, though, answered with a four-run bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and no outs, Carlos Corporan hit into a double play to score one and, after Sosa walked, Jose Altuve singled home a run.

Runzler was then yanked in favor of Guillermo Mota, who promptly walked Jason Bourgeois then allowed a two-run single by Martinez to give the Astros a 4-3 lead.

San Francisco, though, tied the game in the fourth. Nate Schierholtz was plunked with a pitch to start the frame and moved to third on a Belt single. Fontenot followed with a sac fly to make it a 4-4 contest.

Houston left men at first and third in the fifth while San Francisco stranded Aubrey Huff, who walked and moved to second on a wild pitch with no outs, in the sixth.

The Giants put runners at first and third with no outs in the seventh. After Ross struck out, Keppinger hit a sharp grounder to third that Jimmy Paredes made a beautiful diving stop on. Chris Stewart was caught off the bag between third and home and was tagged out in a rundown. Sergio Escalona then took the hill and struck out Sandoval to end the frame.

San Francisco loaded the bases with just one out in the eighth, but again failed to produce as Stewart flied out to left and Schierholtz was nailed at home by Martinez trying to tag up.

Again the Giants loaded the bases and again put nothing up on the board as Schierholtz flied out to end the ninth.

Houston loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but Martinez looked at strike three and Carlos Lee flied out to send the game to extras.

Game Notes

Before the game, the Giants placed closer Brian Wilson on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation...Runzler had pitched in 71 career games out of the bullpen prior to Sunday's start...Both teams left 10 men on base...San Francisco pitcher Steve Edlefsen, who was recalled before the game to take Wilson's spot, made his big league debut in the game, pitching 1 1/3 innings without allowing a baserunner...The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak to the Astros...The Giants play a two-game set at home against San Diego starting on Tuesday...Houston plays three in Colorado starting on Monday.