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Must C Clips: Giants belt four homers in the fourth

DENVER -- With every passing day, and few remain this season, the Giants are making September a riveting month. Whether it will end up truly memorable is not something they can control.

Quite simply, it's win-and-hope time for the surging Giants. They have to keep winning and hope for help.

The Giants took care of the winning part Sunday with relative ease, thanks to a long-ball barrage that had historic overtones and summoned some hallowed Giants names. They unloaded six homers, four in an eight-run fourth, on the Rockies and pummeled them, 12-5. It was the Giants' season-best eighth straight win and gave them a four-game sweep of their series here.

"We're doing what we need to do and that's win ballgames." Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's all we can do. It's obvious we need a little help and we've gotten it. We got a few games left here, and it's going to be important that we keep going out there and find a way to get W's and see what happens there at the end."

With nine games remaining, the Giants are five games behind the D-backs in the National League West. The Giants are four games behind the Braves in the Wild Card race, following Atlanta's loss to the Mets, and are tied in the Wild Card scramble with the Cardinals, pending the outcome of their game Sunday night at Philadelphia.

The last time the Giants hit four homers in an inning was Aug. 23, 1961, when they hit five in the ninth at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Orlando Cepeda, Willie Mays, Jim Davenport, Felipe Alou and John Orsino went deep in a 12-run inning that gave the Giants a 14-0 win over the Reds.

Pablo Sandoval, who hit for the cycle here Thursday, hit two homers in the fourth -- the first off beleaguered Esmil Rogers and the second off Greg Reynolds, who came on to face Sandoval in an inning when 12 Giants batted. It was the fourth multihomer game of Sandoval's career and second this season. The other was Sept. 5 against the Padres.

Sandoval tripled and homered in his first two at-bats, at which point Bochy said he "actually" envisioned the possibility of Sandoval hitting for his second cycle in the series. Not so Sandoval.

"When you get the hard ones out of the way, it's tough to get the easy ones," said Sandoval, who went 7-for-12 in the series with a double, two triples, three homers, six RBIs and three runs scored.

Mike Fontenot began the long-ball barrage when he homered in the first after Andres Torres walked to lead off the game. The Rockies made it 2-1 in the third when Seth Smith hit a sacrifice fly after a walk, single and groundout, and then the Giants teed off.

After Sandoval's first homer, two batters later, Brandon Belt homered to right. Brandon Crawford followed with a double, and Matt Cain drove Rogers' 1-0 pitch over the center-field fence. It was the fifth homer of Cain's career and the first by a Giants pitcher since Cain homered May 13, 2008, against Houston. Cain gave up five runs, three earned, in five innings as he won for just the second time in six starts.

Bochy said he was one hitter away from pulling Cain when he got a double-play grounder to end the fifth.

"I never found a good rhythm," said Cain, who threw 110 pitches, 69 strikes, "and was struggling to ... get ahead of guys."

Rogers' meltdown continued as he walked Torres, hit Fontenot with a pitch and gave up a run-scoring single to Carlos Beltran. Sandoval then lofted Reynolds' second pitch into the right-field stands for a three-run shot that made it 10-2. Nine of the runs were charged to Rogers, whose overall ERA rose to 6.64 and whose ERA at Coors Field increased to 11.68.

The Giants have hit more than six homers in a game just four times in the history of the franchise, dating back to its New York roots. They hit eight homers against Milwaukee on April 30, 1961, and hit seven against the Rockies on July 2, 2002. When the franchise was in New York, the Giants hit seven homers against the Pirates on July 8, 1956, and seven against the Reds on June 24, 1950.

The four-game sweep of the Rockies was San Francisco's first since July 17-20, 2003, at AT&T Park and first at Coors Field since Aug. 26-29, 2002. The Giants last swept a four-game series from July 5-8, 2010, at Milwaukee.

The eighth inning with a seven-run lead gave Bochy the ideal time he was hoping for to use Brian Wilson, who was activated Sunday. Pitching for the first time since Aug. 15, Wilson, who had missed 30 games with right elbow inflammation, struck out Tommy Field, a rookie playing his sixth Major League game, and pitcher Jason Hammel and got Eric Young Jr. to foul out when left fielder Justin Christian leaped into the stands to make the catch. Wilson threw 16 pitches, including 10 strikes.

"He used all his pitches," Bochy said. "One thing we didn't want him to do was throw nothing but fastballs, pitch a little bit. He almost went the other way, but I thought he did a nice job." Comments