OAKLAND -- Late-inning heroics resulted in a gut-wrenching 6-5, 10-inning loss to the A's on Sunday for the Giants in the Bay Bridge Series finale at Oakland Coliseum.The Giants flirted with the wrong side of a perfect game through nearly five innings, and were hitless after three frames for the
OAKLAND -- Late-inning heroics resulted in a gut-wrenching 6-5, 10-inning loss to the A's on Sunday for the Giants in the Bay Bridge Series finale at Oakland Coliseum.
The Giants flirted with the wrong side of a perfect game through nearly five innings, and were hitless after three frames for the third time this series. Then they did what manager Bruce Bochy has implored them to do all season: find a way.
In three games in Oakland, the Giants scored 13 runs. Nine of them came in the seventh inning or later, including four on Sunday. It just wasn't enough, as the Giants dropped a second consecutive extra-inning affair.
"It's a tough way to lose, no question," manager Bruce Bochy said. "To make a comeback like that. But they got a break. Two tough losses for us, especially the way we battled back."
Fittingly, Sunday's rally started with a one-out single in the seventh. It was only the fourth hit starter Sean Manaea had allowed all afternoon, and the A's held a comfortable 4-1 lead. But with runners on the corners, Pablo Sandoval lined a two-out, pinch-hit double off Lou Trivino to pull the Giants within a run. Alen Hanson completed the comeback with a game-tying single.
After a bevy of seeing-eye singles helped the Giants tie the game, Andrew McCutchen made sure there was little doubt an inning later. The right-fielder launched a cutter over the wall in left to hand the Giants a 5-4 lead.
It would be short lived. In the bottom half, Khris Davis hit his second home run of the day to tie the game, this one off Mark Melancon. In the 10th, when Matt Chapman's chopper got past shortstop Brandon Crawford and went into center field, it sent the A's home walk-off winners.
"It was a high enough hop that I thought I could get it on that first big hop," Crawford said. "It came down a lot steeper than I thought it was going to, I think that's what caused me to miss it."
Starter Johnny Cueto battled through seven innings, allowing four runs while striking out three and walking two. It was his best outing since being activated off the disabled list on July 5, and seven innings was exactly what the Giants needed after using six relievers on Saturday night.
Cueto gave up three home runs on Sunday, two of which were roped by Matt Olson. In three starts since his return, he's given up seven long balls. Cueto had allowed just one in his first five starts this season.
"He really grinded it out for seven innings and had a chance to get the win," Bochy said. "He made some mistakes, but he gave us what we needed because the bullpen was thin. Here, he leaves the game with a one-run lead and we just couldn't hold it for him. He really competed well."
Cueto echoed his manager's sentiments.
"I feel really good, I mean my confidence is high," the right-hander said. "Right now, the only thing I'm trying to do is forget the injury. My goal is to get back to the form that I had."
With Sunday's loss, the Giants have dropped consecutive series for the first time since June 11-17 against the Marlins and Dodgers.
"You always want to keep fighting," Crawford said. "We did battle back these last two games, I just think we need to get it going a little bit earlier."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Olson took Cueto deep to begin the fourth inning and Chapman nearly went back-to-back. His drive hit the wall in left-center, and the third baseman settled for a double. It looked to be a big inning for the A's, but Cueto worked his way out of trouble. He induced a groundout, a lineout and a popup to strand Chapman at second and keep the Giants in the game.
Nick Hundley has a knack for breaking up no-hitters. In 2015, Hundley doubled to break up Dallas Keuchel's no-hit bid in the sixth inning. In 2016, his sixth-inning home run was the first hit of the game that Dylan Bundy had allowed. On Sunday, Manaea was perfect until Hundley shot a one-out single into center in the fifth.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
As the Giants trailed 2-0 in the third inning, the A's had runners on second and third with one out. Crawford fielded Stephen Piscotty's grounder and made a perfect throw to Hundley, nabbing Franklin Barreto at home and preserving the two-run deficit. Crawford leads National League shortstops in assists. It was his third assist to home this season.
HE SAID IT
"That had to be exciting for everybody. They were good games. Great games. It's not easy for me to say that, because we lost both of them. But it's the Battle of the Bay series; that's what it was. These were hard-fought games. We just couldn't hold on today and yesterday." -- Bochy, on the last two games
The Giants' West Coast trip continues in Seattle on Tuesday at Safeco Field at 7:10 p.m. PT. Rookie Andrew Suarez (3-6, 3.94 ERA) gets the ball in the series opener. In nine outings since the beginning of June, the left-hander has posted a 2.75 ERA and given up just three home runs in 52 1/3 innings. Suarez will look to get back on track after the A's tagged him for four runs on July 15, the first time he's given up more than two runs in his last seven starts. The Mariners will counter with lefty James Paxton (8-6, 3.70 ERA).
Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.