(The Sports Xchange) - As he rounded third base, running out of gas and headed for home, San Francisco Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson could think of only one thing.
Thank goodness for the so-called “Buster Posey Rule.”
Given a clear path to home plate, Tomlinson completed the ninth inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park with a head-first dive on Saturday, propelling the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
“That’s one of the most exciting plays in baseball,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the inside-the-park homer. “Especially one that’s that close at the plate.”
Marlon Byrd and Brandon Crawford also had solo homers for the Giants, while Jake Peavy allowed four hits and one run in five innings.
“I was happy with the way the season played out,” said Peavy. “I wanted the team to be able to count on me for a quality start every time I went out there down the stretch. And I think I did that.
“I wanted to help the team accomplish our goal. Unfortunately, we all came here to play what we’re going to watch next week (the playoffs). We’ll use that as fuel.”
Left fielder Ben Paulsen homered in the fifth inning, while center fielder Corey Dickerson doubled and scored in the sixth to account for the Rockies’ runs.
Tomlinson got the Giants off and running on left-hander Chris Rusin’s sixth pitch of the game, smacking a liner to the 421-foot mark on the outfield wall in right-center field.
“My first thought was, I hope they don’t catch it,” said Tomlinson. “When it lands, you’re thinking triple.”
Instead, Tomlinson made it 90 feet farther, diving head-first to beat a relay throw at the plate for his second home run of the year.
“Back in the old days, you’d see a catcher standing right there,” he noted. “Having to give me a lane probably helped.”
The inside-the-park homer was just the sixth for a Giants’ player since AT&T Park opened in 2000.The most recent inside-the-park homer had been hit by Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes on June 14, 2014.
Byrd’s homer, his 23rd of the season, came two batters later and gave the Giants a 2-0 lead before Crawford added to the lead with his solo shot in the fourth.
Rusin (6-10) allowed all three of the homers and just two other hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four.
“It was just those three pitches (the homers). They were my three biggest mistakes,” Rusin said.
“They didn’t miss any one of them. I wish I had those three mistakes back.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury