ATLANTA -- Having first exchanged high fives with the other outfielders, Cody Ross was one of the last to join the victory celebration behind the pitching mound at Turner Field.
Without the accidental Giant, though, San Francisco wouldn't be headed to the National League Championship Series.
"What a great addition," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Ross drove in the only run with a two-out hit in the opener of the National League Division series against the Braves, then supplied the offensive heroics again Monday night in the clinching 3-2 victory.
Ross broke up Derek Lowe's no-hit bid with a tying leadoff homer in the sixth inning and drove in the decisive run with a two-out single in the seventh off Braves reliever Jonny Venters.
Not bad for someone who wasn't assured of a spot on the playoff roster until the end of the regular season.
"He's played so well, that's why we made the change and put him out in right field," Bochy said.
The Giants big August addition for the stretch run was supposed to be Jose Guillen, acquired in a trade from Kansas City. Ross, meanwhile, was claimed off waivers from Florida a couple weeks later, in part to keep him away from National League West-rival San Diego.
But Guillen didn't produce, playing himself off the roster for the NLDS as Ross played himself on by getting 10 hits, including three homers, in his final 20 at-bats of the regular season.
"It's been an emotional
"When I got over here [with the Giants], I knew this outfield situation. I knew there were a lot of guys trying to fill in."
Ross was the one who won the playing time, batting .288 in 73 at-bats. In the postseason, he's been even better.
Lowe was the victim of the decisive hit by Ross in Game 1. The veteran right-hander allowed four hits over 51/3 innings in that game and was even better Monday.
"He made it look easy out there," Bochy said. "And Cody hit the home run. Just seemed like he charged up the ball club."
Ross conceded that Lowe made him "look pretty bad" during a third inning strikeout. But it was a different story in the sixth. Armed with a tip from Edgar Renteria to get his front foot down, Ross lined the first pitch just over the left field fence.
"I was hoping," Ross said when asked if he thought the ball was going out. "I knew I hit it well."
The Braves went back ahead in the bottom of the sixth on Brian McCann's home run. Again, Ross came through. After an error helped the Giants tie the game, Ross drove in the tie-breaker with a two-out single through the hole into left field.
"I've been in the twilight zone for the last month and a half or however long I've been here," Ross said. "I never thought I'd be in this situation celebrating. I'm so grateful for the Giants getting me over here, however it happened, I don't care. You dream of this as a kid.
"Who would have thought? I didn't even think the Marlins wouldn't pull me back [off waivers]. It was a surprise to everybody. The past is the past, I'm happy to be here and I'm enjoying the ride."