Maybe no one but the Giants thought they'd be where they are Tuesday morning, back at .500 after 60 games, just 1 1/2 games out of first place in the National League West and surging after Monday's 10-3 win over the first-place D-backs.
A club that had been written off when starters Madison Bumgarner and then Johnny Cueto went on the disabled list has survived that 1-2 kick in the gut. And now Bumgarner is due to come off the disabled list Tuesday for his first MLB start of the season.
"It's the Giants' way," first baseman Pablo Sandoval said. "It's exciting. And now we get to see our ace come back and throw the ball the way he does."
Sandoval hit one of four Giants homers Monday, all of them solo shots and three of them to lead off innings. Sandoval's came in the fifth inning, but the one that excited him most came from Andrew McCutchen an inning earlier.
The D-backs had just scored twice on a Ketel Marte double in the fourth when McCutchen opened the bottom of the inning with his fifth bomb. Brandon Crawford followed with a blast of his own, and the deficit was neutralized. Before the inning was over, the Giants would add seven more runs.
"That's the good thing; we took advantage in that inning," Sandoval said. "McCutchen hit that home run and after that Crawford, and then we're working and working every pitch to score more. After they scored two, McCutchen really awakened us."
Pinch-hitter Alen Hanson brought in two runs with a double, and after a replay reversal put Joe Panik on base as a hit batter, the Giants scored three more times, the last two on a Buster Posey double. Sandoval and pinch-hitter Nick Hundley then hit leadoff homers in the fifth and eighth innings.
Hanson's hit broke the game open, but it also cost Giants starter Derek Holland the win. Hanson hit for Holland in the fourth with one out and the bases loaded. Manager Bruce Bochy joked with Holland that if he were averaging .200, he would have thought about letting him hit. Instead, reliever Pierce Johnson -- who was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento following the game to clear a roster spot for Bumgarner's return -- got his third win with two scoreless innings.
"I guess I've got some work to do," Holland, hitting .053, said, breaking into a grin. "I know that had to be a tough call for Bochy. If we've got a chance to score some runs, we've got to go for it. Hanson did a great job stepping right in there. We put up seven that inning, and that's huge for us.'