Will Smith's evening went from awful to great in about 30 minutes.

In the top of the eighth inning Sunday night, the Giants closer blew the save against the Phillies. But he redeemed himself in the bottom half.

Yes, the bottom half of the inning.

That's because the Giants rallied to take the lead, forcing Smith to step in the batter's box for the first time in his major league career.

If you expected Smith to keep the bat on his shoulder for three strikes and go back to the dugout, you'd be completely wrong.

Smith lined Nick Pivetta's a 3-1 fastball to right field for his first major league hit, and Kevin Pillar and Brandon Crawford scored to give the Giants a three-run lead.

Smith, who's in his ninth major league season, collected his first career hit and first two RBI on one swing.

Despite admitting he hadn't hit since his days at Gulf Coast Community College, Smith said he's been preparing for this moment.

"I actually took some swings in the cage today," Smith told ESPN after the Giants' 9-6 win. "The days when I'm off, I'll just carry around a bat and see if [Giants manager Bruce Bochy] will let me in, but he hasn't until today. I'm glad it paid off."

Smith, one of the best closers in baseball this season, revealed that he was nervous when he stepped into the box.

 

"[Phillies catcher J.T.] Realmuto asked me the last time I hit. I was like, 'I think in college, so let's get this over with quick,' " Smith said. "It worked out the way it did."

Smith got a Gatorade bath from his teammates after the game, but that's probably not the end of the celebration.

"There's no telling what I'm about to get when I walk in the clubhouse," Smith said. "But I'm sure it's going to be something."

As if all this action with his bat wasn't enough, Smith was credited with the win. Not a bad night.

The Giants took three of four from the Phillies in the series at Oracle Park and now are 3 1/2 games out of an NL wild-card spot. After a day off Monday, the Giants will host the A's in the first two games of the Bay Bridge Series.

Stay tuned to see if Bochy uses Smith as a pinch-hitter.