SAN FRANCISCO – There was such intensity behind Jake Peavy’s performance, it might have exceeded maximum Vogelsong levels. He didn’t release pitches so much as unleash them, he barked for calls and he challenged the Dodgers as if they were neighborhood kids blaring a car stereo.
Bruce Bochy predicted Peavy would leave everything on the mound in his Giants debut, win or lose.
Bochy was right, and Peavy lost.
Second baseman Dan Uggla made two errors, Peavy threw two costly wild pitches, Dee Gordon squeezed through an even smaller crack to flash home with a thrilling run and the Giants were swept in three games by their archrivals after a 4-3 loss Sunday night.
The home crowd even had to endure the sight of Brian Wilson knifing through the heart of the order in the eighth inning.
The preening Dodgers entered the series trailing by 1 ½ games in the NL West. They leave holding a 1 ½-game lead.
The Giants are 6-19 at home since June 9.
Starting pitching report
Peavy allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings, and despite cutting a determined profile on the mound, he lost his 10th consecutive decision dating to May 1. But in no way did the loss undermine the club’s decision to acquire him from the Red Sox for prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree.
Peavy pitched out of his share of trouble, some of it not of his own making. He got a double-play grounder to erase Uggla’s error in the first inning and he extended the zone to strike out Juan Uribe on the way to stranding runners at the corners with one out in the second.
But Uggla’s error leading off the fourth inning opened a door, and although Peavy threw all his weight against it, the Dodgers managed a run. Uggla also was slow while turning the pivot on a double play, allowing Carl Crawford to reach on a fielder’s choice. Matt Kemp singled and Uribe hit a hard single that reached left fielder Michael Morse quickly, giving him a shot at throwing out Crawford at the plate. But the throw had little behind it as the Dodgers tied it.
Peavy couldn’t hold a 2-1 lead in the fifth, although it was not catcher Buster Posey’s finest hour. Gordon reached on a third-strike wild pitch, Yasiel Puig walked and another wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Adrian Gonzalez struck out but the third strike skipped away from Posey for a moment, and the instant the catcher threw to first base, Gordon sprinted home. First baseman Adam Duvall made a good throw home but Gordon slid safely ahead of Peavy’s tag.
It was a brilliant play by Gordon, and you have to wonder if it ever entered Posey’s head to pump fake that throw to first base.
It’s as if the play snapped Peavy’s focus. Hanley Ramirez singled and Carl Crawford tripled, both on first-pitch strikes, to cap a three-run inning.
Bruce Bochy stretched Peavy for one more inning. He grinded through 102 pitches in six innings.
Jean Machi went through the heart of the Dodgers lineup in the seventh and Sergio Romo pitched around a walk in the eighth. Romo and Jeremy Affeldt kept it a one-run deficit in the ninth.
At the plate
The Giants got to Hyun-Jin Ryu for three runs in six innings. Uggla drew a leadoff walk in the third inning and scored on Hunter Pence’s chopped single off the plate. They strung together three singles in a four-batter span in the fourth, with Brandon Crawford driving in the run. Then Posey swung at a 3-0 pitch in the fifth while ripping his 12th home run of the season.
Posey’s homer was the Giants’ first extra-base hit in four games. Hard to believe but it also was the Giants’ first home run on a 3-0 count since Pedro Feliz did it July 21, 2007, at Milwaukee.
Crawford had his second hit off a lefty, this time J.P. Howell, to start the seventh. But pinch hitter Joaquin Arias lined out and Bochy decided to let Gregor Blanco hit rather than try to move the tying run into scoring position for Pence. Blanco cued the second-guessers by grounding into a double play.
The ballpark filled with a cacophony of boos when Wilson entered to pitch the eighth, but the heart of the Giants order couldn’t body slam the pitcher who has become a wrestling heel to their fans. Posey drew a walk but Pablo Sandoval struck out and Michael Morse flied out.
Uggla has made three errors in three games, and you have to wonder if his defensive struggles as much as anything will cost him at-bats to Joe Panik against right-handed pitchers.
Sandoval had another sparkling game at third base. He made a diving stop of Ryu’s grounder down the line in the fifth inning and he stepped in front of Crawford to field Gonzalez’s grounder with the infielders shifted over in the seventh.
With an official crowd of 41,459, the Giants extended their streak of announcing sellouts to 302.
The Giants begin a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner (12-7, 3.19 ERA) takes the mound against Pirates right-hander Vance Worley (3-1, 3.10). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT. It’ll be Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65) against left-hander Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18) on Tuesday and Tim Lincecum (9-7, 3.96) against right-hander Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.65) on Wednesday.