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Monday, May 29 4:05pm ET
Giants chip away at Phils in late innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Felipe Crespo is thriving in his role as the San Francisco Giants' top pinch-hitter.
Crespo jump-started San Francisco's dormant offense with a two-run, pinch-hit single in the seventh inning and Bill Mueller followed with a two-run double as the Giants rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 Monday.
"That was great timing on the part of the offense because I was the losing pitcher when I came out," Estes said. "My hat's off to Felipe Crespo getting that hit and then having Billy's ball drop in, too."
A longshot to make the team this spring, Crespo has endeared himself to Giants manager Dusty Baker with his consistency at the plate even though he only gets sporadic chances to swing.
Crespo improved to 6-for-14 (.429) with seven RBI in the pinch this season.
"He works at it," Baker said. "He worked and banged his way on to the team in spring training. He's the epitome of what you want from a bench player. You never have to tell him to be ready. He's always ready."
Schilling (1-3), who gave up four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, kept the Giants in check most of the day.
He was still working on a shutout in the seventh after giving up consecutive one-out doubles to J.T. Snow and Rich Aurilia. Snow was forced to hold at second until Aurilia's fly to center started knuckling in the wind, glancing off the glove of Doug Glanville. Snow had to stop at third.
Estalella, playing against the Phillies for the first time since they dealt him to the Giants last spring, popped out, but Crespo lined a 2-2 offering down the right field line to drive in two, snapping an 0-for-20 drought by the Giants with runners in scoring position.
"I'm just trying to stay aggressive and put the ball in play," said Crespo, who spent most of his first eight years in the minors with Toronto's organization before coming to San Francisco as a free agent a year ago.
"A guy like Schilling, you can't lay back and stop being aggressive because he throws so hard and hits his spots so well. I just tried to stay aggressive through the whole at-bat and fortunately it paid off. Sometimes all it takes is that one hit to get us going, and this was a win I think we really needed," he said.
Once Crespo got the breakthrough hit, Marvin Benard singled and Mueller flared a double to left. Shortstop Relaford, third baseman Kevin Jordan and left fielder Ron Gant all tried to chase down the bloop, but it wound up falling in.
Relaford came closest, making a running backhand stab at the ball, but he tripped over the fallen Gant and the ball popped loose as Jordan also tumbled over Gant.
"I had the catch," Relaford said. "As soon as I caught it, I got hit. I know K.J. was going for it. I never saw Ronnie. I knew I had the best shot at it because I had the angle. But as soon as I caught it, Ronnie hit my arm. I didn't think I had it long enough."
"I was sailing along for six and the wheels fell off in the seventh. It's frustrating," Schilling said.
The Giants added three more runs in the eighth on Estalella's run-scoring double and RBI singles by Armando Rios and Mueller.
Alan Embree got his first save of the season in as many opportunities, the third of his career.
San Francisco Clubhouse
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