DENVER -- The Giants held a hitter's meeting prior to Tuesday's 3-2 victory at Coors Field, and of course, reporters are not invited to such gatherings.
So there's no telling whether it was all fire and brimstone or involved audio-visual equipment or if any chickens lost their lives.
But before a word was spoken, the Giants already understood the point: they needed to hit more. And they did. Barely.
Kelby Tomlinson, after fouling off a suicide squeeze bunt attempt in the ninth inning, took an 0-2 fastball on the fists and turned it into a rainmaker. His jam-shot single to left field scored Buster Posey, who had reached on a two-base error, and the Giants snuck out of Coors Field with a victory that kept them clinging to the N.L.'s top wild-card position.
"That's what we've been missing. We got it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Tomlinson's hit, a comment pointed more at its timeliness than its exit velocity.
Jeff Samardzija dominated over seven innings while matching his season high with nine strikeouts and Eduardo Nez knocked in the Giants' other two runs, hitting a home run in the third inning and then an RBI ground out that erased a one-run deficit in the eighth.
Santiago Casilla, still trusted with a one-run lead in the ninth inning despite an N.L.-most seven blown saves, might have earned back a speck of faith. He got noted Giant slayer Nolan Arenado to fly out, and recorded his 31st save when Gerardo Parra hit into a double play.
Bochy said he never wavered on giving Casilla the ball in a save situation.
"Yeah, I know he's had his hiccups, but they all have," Bochy said. "It's the nature of being in the bullpen, and you've got to stay behind them. He's got great stuff. I just didn't feel there was a need for a change right now."
Casilla, speaking through interpreter Erwin Higueros, acknowledged he felt he "let the whole team down" when he blew Sunday's game at Wrigley Field that would've earned the Giants a four-game split with the league's top club.
"When I see the manager has confidence in me, it makes me want to keep my head up high," Casilla said. "The manager knows me. We've been together for more than six years, so he's like a father to me. Whatever decision he makes, I'm going to go for it."
The Giants (74-64) remained a half-game ahead of the Cardinals and 1 games in front of the Mets in the N.L. wild-card picture after their two closest pursuers both won.
The Giants were 4-50 when trailing after seven innings. They did not exactly blast their way to this comeback win.
They took Samardzija off the hook for an undeserved loss when they squeaked across the tying run in the eighth. Gorkys Hernandez singled to right for the Giants' fifth hit of the evening - the most they've had in six games on this road trip -- and Trevor Brown hit a hard grounder to the left side that Arenado smothered with a diving stop to his left.
It had the makings of another rally-killing, luck-deprived double play. Instead, Arenado's throw pulled DJ LeMahieu off second base. Pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza put down a sacrifice bunt, and Hernandez scored on Nez's ground out to short.
The Giants used even less muscle to score the go-ahead run in the ninth. Rockies shortstop Daniel Descalso fielded Posey's grounder and threw wildly for a two-base error. Hunter Pence followed with one of his patented Baltimore chop singles over the pitcher's mound.
Brandon Crawford struck out against tough left-hander Boone Logan, and the Giants thought so little of Tomlinson's chances that they attempted a suicide squeeze - with Posey running from third, mind you -- that the September call-up fouled off.
"I was frustrated about that," said Tomlinson, who also got picked off first base in the fifth inning while the Giants dugout screamed for a balk call. "That could potentially be my role going forward, to get a bunt down." But Tomlinson's quick and short swing got enough of a pitch on his hands as Posey trotted home.
"He saved himself a fine with that base hit," Bochy said, smiling.
Samardzija appears to be immune to the Coors Effect. He entered with a 2.01 ERA in 22 1/3 career innings here over five games (two starts), and he had the kind of stuff Tuesday that would've played in any environment.
Samardzija had one of his liveliest fastballs of the season and paired it with his curve and slider to overpower the Rockies. But a shutout here is an ambitious ask.
The Rockies scored the tying run in the third inning on a play that was emblematic of the Giants' fortunes in this second half. Raimel Tapia drew a leadoff walk, which are dipped in frog toxin here, and stole second base. DJ LeMahieu followed with a hard ground ball up the middle and Crawford made a sensational, diving stop that seemingly would prevent the run from scoring.
Tapia, perhaps assuming the ball had gotten through, kept on running. Crawford never had a chance to throw him out, as the ball popped out of the shortstop's glove as he attempted to transfer.
The Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Tony Wolters led off with a double that clanked off the right field scoreboard, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
Samardzija yielded nothing more. He held the Rockies to four hits, walked one and matched a season high with nine strikeouts in seven innings.
"Location was the best part," Samardzija said of his fastball. "We didn't leak any over the plate against their lefties, and they threw seven of them against us. And the split was there when I needed it, which helped everything work out."
Prior to the game, somebody had to say something. The Giants entered Tuesday having produced four or fewer hits in five consecutive games. Not only had that never been done in modern franchise history, but it matched the longest such streak by any major league club in baseball history.
Their .099 average over those five games marked just the second time a major league team has hit under .100 in a five-game span. The Minnesota Twins batted .096 from May 1-6, 2012 (stats courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau).
Those factoids probably weren't read aloud from a lectern during the hitter's meeting. Honestly, it's hard to imagine that Tony Robbins or Robin Williams or Ted Williams could say any magic words.
Bochy rested three left-handed hitters -- Brandon Belt, Denard Span and Joe Panik -- against quietly effective Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson. The bigger difference, though, might have been the club's energy level after the meeting. When plate umpire David Rackley called a check-swing strike on Trevor Brown in the eighth inning, virtually the entire team leapt to the rail and waved arms in protest.
"I felt we turned a corner energy wise," Tomlinson said. "Any time you can bring yourselves together and refocus on what you're striving for, it gives you energy. You know all these guys are striving for one goal."