DENVER – Brandon Crawford did not know that he would have had the chance to join a few members of the Hall of Famers when he found the basics charged to the ninth inning Monday afternoon. All he knew was that he was facing something that he had never seen in the big leagues.
Crawford dug and looked up at Mark Reynolds, a first-baseman who was asked to dump on the mound in the ninth inning of the Giants' 19-2 win at Coors Field. Reynolds was the first player Crawford had to face in the major leagues.
"It was a strange feeling," Crawford said. "But these are loaded bases, an exit – it's always an at-bat that counts."
Crawford is assured of this, bouncing only one player in the center to make two more runs. He finished with eight RBIs, setting a record with the San Francisco Giants previously shared by Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda. It became the first stop in the history of the MLB to record five hits and eight runs produced in one match. Crawford said the big day was due to his teammates.
"I hit a lot of guys at the base, that was good," he said. "The whole range has contributed."
This was rarely the case during the first three months of the season. But in the days leading up to the break, you could see Crawford, Buster Posey and other members of the central core start to get busy, mingling with Alex Dickerson, Austin Slater and other newcomers.
Crawford played five straight games and added three more walks over the weekend in Milwaukee. The escape came Monday. He scored the first goal to help the Giants take a 5-0 lead and added a long shot on goal in the sixth.
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In one game, Crawford raised his average from 0.26 to 0.239. His OPS went from 0.654 to 0.695. It's hard to make nearly 100 games in the season – unless you have the kind of day that puts you in the same company as Hall of Famers.
"I felt good," Crawford said. "I see the ball well, you expect to be hit when it happens."