Gorkys' 4-hit game shows his value to Giants

Gorkys' 4-hit game shows his value to Giants

SAN DIEGO -- Many observers might have regarded Gorkys Hernandez as the proverbial 25th man on the Giants' active roster when the season started.

Now, as the season's theoretical second half began Friday, Hernandez has become almost indispensable. He went a career-best 4-for-4 in the Giants' 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Various circumstances have heaped value upon Hernandez. Injuries and ineffectiveness befell other Giants outfielders -- Chris Marrero, Michael Morse and Austin Slater, among others. This caused a shortage of personnel that means more playing time for Hernandez, who appeared in 104 Major League games during 12 professional season entering this year.

"We're out of outfielders," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, noting that Hernandez is certain to start Saturday's rematch against the Padres. Besides, Bochy added, "When you get four hits, I think that earns you another start out there."

Two of Hernandez's hits contributed to the Giants' scoring. His second-inning single followed a leadoff double by Brandon Crawford, who scored on Johnny Cueto's unlikely single. Hernandez's sixth-inning single helped move Hunter Pence into position for pinch-hitter Miguel Gomez's game-tying sacrifice fly.

"I tried to get a good pitch to hit," said Hernandez, reciting one of baseball's most enduring basics. "In the first half, I was swinging at too many pitches. I'm trying to keep it simple and not do too much."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.