Casali saves Giants after ‘heartbreaking' end to Webb's day


PHILADELPHIA -- When the 10th inning rolled around late Monday afternoon, Curt Casali strolled into the on-deck circle at Citizens Bank Park and looked out at the unfolding situation. 

The Giants had their free baserunner at second base and Donovan Walton at the plate against a right-handed reliever. Casali heard manager Gabe Kapler call over to him and ask if he could get a bunt down and move two runners into scoring position if Walton drew a walk. 

"That would have been a bad decision, clearly," Kapler said later, smiling. 

Walton struck out but Casali made sure all of the Giants were off the hook, blasting a 407-foot homer to left that gave the Giants the lead and ultimately a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in a back-and-forth game. 

"It's funny the way everything works," Casali said. "I was perfectly willing and able to drop a bunt down, but baseball is a funny game."

The homer was the third of the day for the Giants, and they needed all three blasts. Wilmer Flores' two-run shot wiped out a two-run deficit for Logan Webb, and Evan Longoria's fifth homer in a week gave the Giants a one-run lead in the ninth. That wouldn't hold up because of the third homer of the day by the Phillies. 

Kyle Schwarber led off the bottom of the ninth with a blast to dead center, chasing Webb, who had fought to stay in the game. Casali was right there with him, and as he digested the win, he thought about what it meant for Webb, who took a no-decision.

"I wanted to win that game so bad, just for what he did and being able to come out for the ninth," Casali said. "It was just kind of that heartbreaking ending to his day."

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Casali made sure Webb and his manager could sleep a little better, and he continued to firm up his hold on the starting catching job. The homer was his fourth in his last eight games. 

Webb said he could see in the spring that Casali was poised for a bounce-back year. The Giants did not expect it to come this way, with Casali grabbing so much of the time because of Joey Bart's struggles, but they've needed the production at the bottom of the lineup and Casali has delivered. 

"Every one of us in this clubhouse loves that guy to death," Webb said. "It's really cool to see the work he's put in and the success he's been having right now."

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