San Francisco Giants left fielder Alex Dickerson, bottom, dives for a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Tommy La Stella as third baseman Evan Longoria jumps out of the way during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 (AP News photo)
By Morris Phillips
After the seventh inning, the perfect ending had to have crossed manager Gabe Kapler’s mind.
Six consecutive outs and the Giants could end their four-game losing skid with Mike Trout standing in the on-deck circle unable to lift his Angels.
If only Kapler had the horses..
Instead Trevor Gott surrendered a game-ending, two-run homer to Tommy La Stella in a 7-6 Giants’ loss, their third via a ninth inning collapse in four games.
For Gott, his season has gone from delight to disaster: the reliever elevated to closer has allowed six, ninth inning home runs while his ERA has ballooned to 14.73.
“We’ll look for a softer landing spot for him. I think we’re going to need to figure out how to get his confidence back,” Kapler said of Gott.
For La Stella and the Angels, the win was the perfect tonic for ending a four-game skid in which they were overpowered by the A’s before getting swept by the Dodgers over the weekend. The win marked the first time in 11 games they had won after trailing initially. And yes, the game did end with Trout due up next, but the prospect of the Giants getting what they wanted, fueled La Stella.
“I just wanted to make sure I didn’t swing out of the zone, especially with Mike coming up next,” La Stella said.
Trout did his damage earlier with a solo shot in the third that tied the game, 2-2. The Angels’ superstar became the first slugger to reach 10 home runs this season, only to see San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. homer twice in their game against Texas to take the Major League lead with 11.
For the Giants, Trout’s homer off starter Tyler Anderson marked an ominous milestone, the 20th consecutive game the team’s pitching staff has allowed at least one home run, an ongoing franchise record.
The Giants led 2-0 after Brandon Belt’s homer in the first, then after they trailed 5-3, a three-run rally in the sixth gave them the lead again. Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run double scored Brandon Crawford and Mauricio Dubon to make it 6-5 Giants in the sixth.
Relievers Jarlin Garcia, Tyler Rogers and Tony Watson each pitched scoreless innings to get the Giants to the ninth with the lead. But Gott couldn’t hold it, striking out Brian Goodwin on three pitches, and allowing David Fletcher a bloop single before La Stella ended it.
Dylan Bundy, in search of his fourth win, will start for the Angels on Tuesday, opposed by Trevor Cahill for the Giants. Cahill served as a starter and reliever in 2019, his one and only season as a member of the Angels.