San Francisco Giants Wednesday game wrap: Giants fall short in 8-6 loss to Snakes

April 5, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants’ Matt Moore wipes his face as he pauses on the mound on his way to giving up three runs during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

By DANIEL DULLUM
Sports Radio Service
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona used production from each end of its batting order, took advantage of timely San Francisco errors, and held off the Giants 8-6 in the third game of their NL West season-opening series at Chase Field.

Taijuan Walker (1-0) gave up four earned runs in six innings, but shut down the Giants when he needed to while picking up his first win as a Diamondback. Walker struck out seven, walked one and gave up seven hits.

“I didn’t have very good command on my fastball; it wasn’t moving very well the first three innings, but my last three innings, it was moving pretty well,” said Walker, who was acquired from Seattle in the off-season.

“It was just nerves, really, being the first start of the season,” Walker added. “I was kind of amped up, but after the third inning, I felt really good.”

Fernando Rodney retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth to earn his first save of the season, and first for Arizona.

Matt Moore (0-1) took the loss for the Giants, now 1-2. In 5 1/3 innings, Moore struck out three, walked two and three of the six runs he surrendered were unearned.

The Giants had a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, but the D-Backs scored three unearned runs to tie the game. Arizona surged ahead in the sixth when pinch-hitter Jeremy Hazelbaker delivered a one-out RBI double.

Brandon Belt hit his first home run of the season, a one-out line drive to the right field seats, that extended San Francisco’s lead to 4-1. But in the bottom of the fifth, Belt’s first error of the season allowed the D-Backs to score twice in a three-unearned run rally.

With one out, Owings doubled, Paul Goldschmidt walked, and both moved to third and second, respectively, on a double-steal. Jack Lamb’s sharp chopper down the first base line was mishandled by Belt, allowing Owings and Goldschmidt to score. Yasmany Tomãs followed with a double to plate Lamb, tying the game at 4-4.

“It helps when you have one of the best offenses in the league,” Walker said. “We’re always going to be in it because our offense is so good.”

Arizona surged ahead in the sixth when Chris Iannetta singled and scored from first on Hazelbaker’s double into the right field corner. That prompted Giants starter Matt Moore’s exit. He was replaced by Cory Gearrin, who gave up an RBI single to Pollock.

“Matt had good stuff and threw pretty good,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He got a bad break in that fifth inning with two outs and nobody on.

“Belt catches that ball 99 percent of the time. That was a momentum changer there and we couldn’t stop it.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Arizona added two more runs on an RBI single by Brandon Drury and a run-scoring double by Nick Ahmed.

San Francisco loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth on consecutive singles by Posey, Crawford and Nunez. Pinch-hitter (and former D-Back) Aaron Hill drew an RBI walk off reliever Andrew Chafin, driving in Posey.

Panik struck out, but Chafin’s replacement, Tom Wilhelmsen, threw a wild pitch that allowed Crawford to score before Chris Morrero flied out to center to end the threat.

Rodney retired Gorkys Hernandez, Belt and Pence in order to record his first Diamondback save.

“I felt good about the eighth,” Bochy said. “We had the bases loaded with some good hitters up there. We just couldn’t get that extra hit to get us over the hump. But (the D-Backs) battled when we tried to get back in it.”

The Giants manufactured the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. After Eduardo Nuñez singled and stole second, Joe Panik hit a sharp grounder to short, where Nick Ahmed weighed his options and chose to throw home when Nuñez rounded third. Nuñez slid head-first under Ahmed’s high throw, giving Panik an infield RBI single.

“Eduardo showed how fast he can really be. He’s electric,” Bochy said. “His speed makes it tough for the third-base coach to judge whether or not to send him on a ball hit to center.”

Arizona pulled to within 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Chris Owings. With one out, A.J. Pollock doubled and scored when a low liner to center by Owings was trapped by Hernandez.

“They’re getting good at-bats,” Bochy said of the D-Backs. “But we’ve helped them. They’re a tough lineup. They battled well, our guys battled well. It was a hard-fought game. We had a 4-1 lead and couldn’t hold it,”

Bochy said he would try to get some of his regulars some rest in the series finale on Thursday.

“Aaron Hill will start at second, we don’t know about (Denard) Span (hip injury) and I’ll check with Buster,” Bochy said.

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija makes his first start for San Francisco in the series finale, facing D-Backs lefthander Robbie Ray.

GIANT JOTTINGS: Arizona won a video challenge on an apparent double play in the third inning, when Brandon Drury was called out on a close play at first. The call was reversed. Time of the review was 1:08. … Paul Goldschmidt stole his 100th career base on a double steal in the fifth inning. … D-Backs reliever Jorge De La Rosa turned 36 today. It’s the second time in his career (2014 while with Colorado) that he’s pitched on his birthday. … Brandon Belt’s home run was his first against Arizona since April 8, 2014 (at AT&T Park). … After 1,526 games as an infielder, Giants INF Aaron Hill made his first appearance as an outfielder Thursday. … San Francisco is hitting .192 (5-for-26) with runners in scoring position in the first two games. … When Arizona won Sunday’s season opener despite giving up a pair of homers to Madison Bumgarner, it was the first a team did that since Minnesota handed Kansas City a 6-5 loss at Metropolitan Stadium on July 7, 1969, when the Royals’ Jim Rooker hit a pair of roundtrippers. … An announced crowd of 14,675 watched the game with the roof open for the third straight game. … Our colleague Michael Duca reported on Facebook that this year’s MLB Opening Day was the first since 1885 that did not include either Connie Mack or Vin Scully. Mack’s final season as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics – 1950 – coincided with Scully’s first season as a Brooklyn Dodgers announcer.

TAGS: San Francisco Giants,Arizona Diamondbacks,Sports Radio Service,Connie Mack,Vin Scully,Daniel Dullum

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