Middle relievers come up big for Giants

Middle relievers come up big for Giants

LOS ANGELES -- In football, it's the third-down running back. In basketball, it's the sixth man.

A player who can enter the game and change the pace of the action possesses definite value. The Giants had two of them Friday, relievers David Huff and Juan Gutierrez. They gave Giants pitching a different look after Ryan Vogelsong left the game, combining for three scoreless innings and hastening San Francisco's 8-4 triumph.

The contributions of Huff and Gutierrez represented the game's turning point, in Giants manager Bruce Bochy's estimation.

"Momentum was going [the Dodgers'] way. They put a stop to it," Bochy said. "That's what has to happen."

Huff, a left-hander, was a definite change from the right-handed Vogelsong. Then came the right-handed Gutierrez, whose 98 mph fastball separates him from every other Giants pitcher.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.