SAN FRANCISCO -- Baseball seemed to become increasingly challenging to the Giants as the season elapsed, even when they attempted to play the pressure-free, nothing-to-lose role of spoiler.San Francisco did nothing to slow down the Los Angeles Dodgers, who rolled to a 15-0 triumph in Sunday's regular-season finale en route
SAN FRANCISCO -- Baseball seemed to become increasingly challenging to the Giants as the season elapsed, even when they attempted to play the pressure-free, nothing-to-lose role of spoiler.
San Francisco did nothing to slow down the Los Angeles Dodgers, who rolled to a 15-0 triumph in Sunday's regular-season finale en route to their sixth consecutive postseason appearance.
By sweeping the three-game set, the Dodgers also captured the season series, 10-9. Los Angeles completed its first three-game sweep of the Giants at AT&T Park since July 25-27, 2014.
"That's the last way we wanted to go out," said manager Bruce Bochy, whose Giants mustered two hits as they concluded a 5-21 September. Dodgers starter Rich Hill (11-5) allowed both hits in a seven-inning effort.
Giants partisans had virtually nothing to cheer for except the presence of right fielder Hunter Pence, who played what may have been his final big league game. Pence, who hit a career-low .226, wants to return for another season. Aware that he might not receive an opportunity from any big league club, he basked in the fans' adulation. It was a happy conclusion to a week in which Bochy started him in each of the final six games and installed him at the leadoff spot.
• Emotions flow for Pence in Giants' final game
Giants starter Andrew Suarez, who blanked the Dodgers for six innings Aug. 14 in his lone previous appearance against them, yielded six runs in 2 1/3 innings. Suarez (7-13) disappeared during a seven-run third inning, which widened the Dodgers' lead to 9-0.
Nevertheless, Suarez accumulated 160 1/3 innings, the fourth-highest total by a rookie left-hander in the Giants' San Francisco history.
"It shows how much trust Bochy has in me," Suarez said.
Hunter Strickland finished the Dodgers' big third inning and was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning. Strickland, who began the season as San Francisco's closer, recorded a 6.59 ERA in 15 appearances after missing 50 games with a fractured right hand.
"He never really got in sync when he came back, with his delivery and his release," Strickland said.
The Giants' 15-0 defeat matched the third-largest shutout loss in the Giants' San Francisco-era history (since 1958). It also was the largest since the Giants were blanked 17-0 by the Dodgers on Sept. 13, 2014.
HE SAID IT
"You have to be excited about what happened with this pitching staff." -- Bochy, whose pitchers ranked third in ERA among Major League clubs beginning June 1
The Giants will open the 2019 regular season at San Diego on March 28. They'll face the Angels in the Cactus League exhibition opener Feb. 23 in Tempe, Ariz.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.