Giants

Instant Replay: Giants 4, Pirates 3

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Instant Replay: Giants 4, Pirates 3

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Before the game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Freddy Sanchez is close to a rehab start. Emmanuel Burriss isn't ready. Burriss led off the bottom of the ninth inning and slapped a solid base hit to right field on the first pitch he saw, spurring the Giants' walk-off rally.

Brandon Belt, who was in the on-deck circle, was called back and veteran Ryan Theriot was sent out to sacrifice Burriss over. Only he failed to do so, worked an eight pitch at-bat and executed a textbook hit-and-run to get Burriss to third base.

After Angel Pagan was intentionally walked, the Giants' hottest hitter Melky Cabrera came to the plate. Cabrera, 0-for-3 on the night, wouldn't get his first hit of the night, but he would win the game. Shortstop Clint Barmes' throw home short-hopped Rod Barajas, who could not coral it, allowing the winning run to score.

Starting pitching report: The Pirates made sure there would be no back-to-back shutouts for Barry Zito early. With two outs in the first inning, Andrew McCutchen roped a single into left field. Casey McGehee's bloop single and a walk to Rod Barajas brought Neil Walker to the plate. Walker delivered a two-run base hit to open the Game 2 scoring.

Zito settled down, though, going three-up-three-down in the second and third.

He was tagged with an unearned run in the fifth inning on a forgettable defensive play for the Giants.

With his pitch total at 97 after six innings and the top of the order coming up in the seventh, Zito's night looked to be done. But he emerged from the dugout in the seventh, induced a first pitch fly-out, struck out Tabata and got Andrew McCutchen to fly out to end the seventh. It sent the AT&T Crowd into a frenzy, and Zito didn't so much as raise his head walking back into the dugout.

Bullpen report: Santiago Casilla entered the game in the eighth inning. Zito's final pitch -- a cutter -- came in at 80 miles per hour. Casilla's first pitch registered a 95 on the gun, and a decidedly different sound entering Hector Sanchez's glove.

Casilla and Javier Lopez were dominant, allowing one hit in two innings of work.

With the bats: The Giants came out swinging in the second. Four consecutive hits from Hector Sanchez, Nate Schierholtz, Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss plated two and tied the game.

Schierholtz's opposite-field triple was scorched. It got to the wall in a hurry and gave Sanchez enough time to lumber in to score all the way from first.

His chest's rise and fall was clearly visible as he removed his helmet, stuck out his tongue, and headed for the dugout for congratulations.

Sanchez led the rally off with a base hit. He has hit safely in each of the three games he's played in this year.

In the bottom of the fifth, Angel Pagan got his first AT&T Park triple. It was a three-bagger all the way as his drive landed right in Triple's Alley. Third-base coach Tim Flannery contemplated sending Pagan home for more than one arm circle.

With the gloves: The Giants suffered their second two-error play of the season. With one on and one away in the fifth inning, Jose Tabata hit a slow bouncer to third. Pablo Sandocal charged, but didn't get his glove down and the ball rolled into shallow left field. Brandon Crawford tracked it down and threw off balance to second. The throw was off line and ended up in the no-man's land in the middle of the infield, allowing Alex Presley to score the then-go-ahead run.

In stark contrast, Crawford ended the inning by ranging far to his left to vacuum a ground ball up the middle, spinning and firing to first to retire Casey McGehee and prevent a fourth Pittsburgh run.

Sandoval again erred in the sixth inning, bringing his error total to three after going all of last year with just 10.

Crawford drew the crowd's applause again in the eighth when he bare-handed McGehee's chop over the pitcher's mound and threw on the run in time to record the first out.

Attendance: It was the 86th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park with an announced attendance of 41,657. Nobody left early and they were loud at all the right times.

On deck: The Giants and Pirates are scheduled to play the third and final game of the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. It's an interesting pitching matchup. Ryan Vogelsong returns from a strained back to make his first start of the season. It's a familiar face that will be opposing him; former Giant and 2011 All-Star Kevin Correia gets the nod in Game 3 for the Pirates.

Odds and ends: Barry Zito will perform at The Fillmore Sunday night, helping Train with "Save Me San Francisco." ... 49ers QB Alex Smith was at AT&T Park Saturday night, sitting in Row 1 next to the Giants' dugout.

Before the game, Matt Cain presented Smith with a jersey signed by members of the Giants.

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season. 

The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:

--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona. 

--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit. 

“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”

--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings. 

--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back. 

Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.

“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”

--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way. 

Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back. 

Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning. 

Anyway, here are five other things to know … 

—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early. 

—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances. 

—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand. 

—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third. 

—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.