The San Francisco Giants had their best pitcher on the mound late in a scoreless National League Wild Card Game, and all they needed was a run. They got it and then some thanks to unheralded infielder Conor Gillaspie, whose three-run home run was the difference in beating the New York Mets.
San Francisco will advance to face the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, beginning Friday at Wrigley Field.
The infielder was drafted by the Giants in 2008 but only played in 29 games in his five years in the organization before moving on. He played the last three seasons with the White Sox and Angels before signing a minor league contract with the Giants in February.
Gillaspie got the start on Wednesday with Eduardo Nunez out.
He hit .262/.307/.440 with six home runs in 101 games for the Giants during the regular season. Mets closer Jeurys Familia allowed just one home run in 78 games in relief for New York in the regular season in 2016.
“It has been a little bit of a tough road for him ... We brought him back here, and he started out in the minor leagues, and works his way back up here,” manager Bruce Bochy said after the game. “What he did tonight, he’ll never forget that hit, nor will I or this club.”