PHOENIX -- For the fifth time in franchise history, the Arizona Diamondbacks are National League West champions.
The D-backs completed the worst-to-first transformation with a 3-1 win over the defending World Series champion Giants on Friday night at Chase Field.
The win was emblematic of the way the season has gone for the D-backs, who also won division titles in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2007. They got solid starting pitching, started slow offensively and rallied late to turn a lead over to the back end of the bullpen.
"That pretty much sums up our year right there," said J.J. Putz, who closed out the game for his 44th save of the year.
It was Arizona's Major League-leading 46th comeback win.
The hero this time was Paul Goldschmidt, whose two-out triple to right off Sergio Romo in the eighth scored Ryan Roberts and Justin Upton.
"A lot of come-from-behind wins -- they never give up," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said. "We're dangerous late. We kind of lull them to sleep early, and late in the game the bats come out. It's just exciting. Goldschmidt, who spent half of the season in [Double-A] Mobile, to come up with the big hit like that against arguably one of the greatest right-handed sliders there is in the game is pretty incredible."
That the D-backs are division champions is also pretty remarkable given the fact that they lost 92 and 97 games over the past two seasons and did not look like a juggernaut this spring.
"Tonight," D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick said when asked when he finally believed his team would win the division. "I'm realistic and I really felt like this year was a year to restore the franchise and that we could do that, but this is more than I imagined, so I'm very proud of them."
Roberts led off the eighth with a double to left-center on a ball that just ticked off the glove of a diving Justin Christian, and after Aaron Hill sacrificed Roberts to third, the Giants intentionally walked Upton.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy then brought in lefty Javier Lopez to face Miguel Montero, and he got him to pop out to shallow center.
Romo came on to face Goldschmidt. After falling behind 0-2, Goldschmidt took a pitch for a ball before lacing a liner down the right-field line.
"We bring a guy from Double-A up here that gets the big hit to clinch it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's significant because that's how important it is to have an organization on the same page."
The Giants got on the board first when Orlando Cabrera led off the fifth inning with a homer to left field.
For a time, it seemed like Matt Cain would make that hold up as the Giants starter handcuffed the D-backs through the first six innings.
Finally in the seventh, the D-backs were able to break through.
Goldschmidt drew a one-out walk and came around to score when Chris Young followed with a double to left-center.
The D-backs could do no further damage in the frame, however, as Cain was able to retire John McDonald and pinch-hitter Geoff Blum after issuing an intentional walk to Gerardo Parra.
"They're a team that really does play to the end," Cain said. "They find different guys every night to sparkplug the offense. They carry that little bit of swagger through the game, and I think that's been beneficial for those guys."
Several Giants stayed in the dugout after the game to watch the D-backs celebrate on the field. Romo, however, was not one of them.
"I didn't want to see that reminder that I didn't make the pitch I needed to make," he said.
Joe Saunders didn't get the win, but the D-backs left-hander had another quality outing, allowing just the one run over his seven innings of work.
"They're a quality ballclub and I knew Matt Cain was going to come out and do his stuff," Saunders said. "In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, so we did that tonight. Hats off to them, they're an amazing club and it just goes to show you how good we are and how good we can be."