PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants received a big reward for their extra labor Tuesday night.
Playing their longest game of the season, both in innings and in duration, they outlasted the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-6, as Brandon Crawford's bases-loaded double sparked a tiebreaking, four-run rally in the 14th inning.
The five-hour, 46-minute standoff featured stellar relief pitching by both teams, though the Giants were especially effective. They yielded just two singles between the sixth and 13th innings.
"They saved our skin, with the job they did," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
The last of the eight relievers San Francisco used wasn't a reliever at all. It was Tim Lincecum, who wisely refrained from throwing his between-starts bullpen session hours earlier. With his energy and right arm preserved, Lincecum relieved George Kontos and recorded the final two outs to earn his first Major League save and seal the Giants' fifth victory in six games.
"It was really fun for me to watch the guys do the work they did, with all the clutch hits," said Lincecum, who threw only 21 pitches and will make his scheduled start in Friday's series opener against the Dodgers at AT&T Park.
Buster Posey, who rescued the Giants by forging a 5-5 tie with a one-out, ninth-inning homer off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, doubled with one out off Jeff Manship (1-2) to open San Francisco's go-ahead rally in the 14th. Pablo Sandoval drew an intentional walk before Kontos' sacrifice bunt advanced the runners. Gregor Blanco coaxed an unintentional walk from Manship to load the bases.
Up came Crawford, who was under some duress. He was mired in a 3-for-22 skid spanning seven games, including 1-for-9 with three strikeouts in the two games here. Moreover, he was facing Manship, who happens to throw right-handed. As one of those rare performers who defies the typical percentages, the left-handed-batting Crawford entered the game hitting .207 off right-handers and .308 against lefties.
Ignoring all those mathematics, Crawford drilled a 1-0 fastball to the left-field wall, chasing across all three baserunners. Hector Sanchez added an RBI single to complete San Francisco's scoring.
"I haven't been having the best of series so far, so I felt especially good," Crawford said of his after-midnight contribution. Asked about his success off a right-hander, Crawford said, "I would have been happy with a hit against anybody."
Kontos (3-0) was one of two Giants relievers to work multiple innings, lasting 2 1/3 innings after working two shutout innings Monday.
"That's why you try to keep yourself in good shape, keep your arm fresh and keep your arm healthy, to be able to do something like that," he said.
The National League West-leading Giants moved a full game in the division race ahead of second-place Los Angeles, which lost, 12-7, at Pittsburgh.
Much earlier, the Giants averted defeat as Posey pulled his homer to left off Papelbon, who had converted 23 of 25 save chances and had blanked opponents in 35 of his previous 37 outings.
Posey, who has driven in 11 runs in his last six games, went 4-for-7 and barely missed a third-inning homer when another drive to left struck a short, rectangular screen lining the top of the outfield fence.
Replacing injured starter Matt Cain, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit worked five innings and allowed five runs and seven hits. Bookending his performance with shaky stretches, Petit yielded a pair of first-inning runs before surrendering three in the fifth, which erased the Giants' 3-2 lead. Jimmy Rollins' two-run homer put the Phillies ahead before Marlon Byrd added an RBI double.
Hunter Pence's prodigious home run in the top of the fifth, which landed on the center-field concourse and scattered fans gobbling cheesesteaks from a nearby concession stand, snapped a 2-2 tie against Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez. Pence went 3-for-8 and took over the NL lead in hits with 124.
The Giants improved to 8-2 in extra-inning games, including 6-0 on the road.