Thursday afternoon’s game went into extra innings again. This time, the San Francisco Giants would be on the losing end.
San Francisco’s bullpen was sitting on a 0.94 ERA at AT&T Park so far this season. That bubble finally burst as Cory Gearrin, Steven Okert, Hunter Strickland and Neil Ramirez faced nine batters, walked four of them and gave up four runs on three hits in a long-winded 10th-inning Los Angeles Dodgers rally that resulted in their 5-1 win over the Giants (8-15) Thursday afternoon, splitting the series 2-2.
The walks, Chase Utley’s dribbler over the third base bag — his second hit of the season — the surprises added up to one of the bullpen’s most uncharacteristic moments this season, at least at home, said manager Bruce Bochy:
“You look at how that inning started. It unraveled. Walks played a huge part of it.”
An Andrew Toles single in that 10th with the bases loaded gave the Dodgers (11-12) the lead, and ultimately, the win.
To that point, neither team could find their big hit. Corey Seager got one for his team, pummeling a first-inning solo home run (5) off Matt Moore, which proved to be one of two hits the Dodgers could muster against the Giants’ lefty.
Moore (ND, 1-3, 4.80 ERA) likes to pitch against the Dodgers. Arguably the best start of his career came against them last August 25th, when he came one out away from a no-hitter.
His string of five no-hit innings following the homer was interrupted by Chris Taylor, who singled to kick off the seventh. Taylor stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice, putting pressure on Moore for the first time all game, with only one out on his side.
“It’s always nice to get results you’re looking for. What Nick (Hundley) did, working on this with Dave (Righetti), sometimes it just comes down to the execution.”
He pitched 7 innings, struck out eight batters in all and allowed just those two hits.
The Giants couldn’t reward the effort this time, though. Bochy knows that his lineup isn’t taking great swings. Things fell out of sync again. Buster Posey’s 12-game hit streak came to an end while Eduardo Nunez restarted his own, breaking an 0-for-19 skid, said Bochy:
“It’s a better offense than what we’re getting. They got the big hit and that was missing from us all game, except for Christian (Arroyo).”
Arroyo provided the team’s only clutch moment, sending an RBI single off Julio Urias (ND, 0-0, 1.59 ERA) to tie the game at 1-1 in the sixth.
Urias had given the Giants all they could handle in his season debut, holding the black and orange to three hits in 5 scoreless innings. Brandon Belt drew a walk and finally put Urias under some pressure after forcing an erroneous pickoff at first. Belt scampered to third to set-up Arroyo’s heroics.
Arroyo went 2-for-4 on the day and gave closer Kenley Jansen (W, 1-0, 2.16 ERA) some work to do before ultimately striking out. Moore was the next man up to marvel at Arroyo’s performance this week:
“Some of the at-bats he’s been able to work off some of these guys, that’s impressive.”
“This kid, in the early go, shows that he’s not overwhelmed by any of it. … Even in the bright lights, with the upper deck, he came to play.”
The Giants bullpen had been utterly dominant at AT&T Park through its first 10 games at home. And it was near flawless against the Dodgers, even in its first two inning on this day with George Kontos and Mark Melancon pitched two innings of no-hit ball. But, then came the 10th, when Gearrin (L, 0-1, 1.42 ERA), who walked the only batter he faced, and Okert, who allowed all three he faced to reach, let things get out of control.
Denard Span had an MRI today on his shoulder and, in a relayed message from Dave Groeschner, found “nothing alarming.” There’s more news to come Friday.