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Giants doomed by Halos' three homers in loss

Belt's homer not enough as long balls come back to haunt Holland
Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- One last time through the heart of an Angels order that Derek Holland knows well proved to be a bit much Saturday night.

The Giants' starter gave up a two-run home run to Albert Pujols in the sixth inning and the Angels went on to a 4-3 victory in the middle game of an interleague series at Angel Stadium. The Giants won Friday night's series opener.

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ANAHEIM -- One last time through the heart of an Angels order that Derek Holland knows well proved to be a bit much Saturday night.

The Giants' starter gave up a two-run home run to Albert Pujols in the sixth inning and the Angels went on to a 4-3 victory in the middle game of an interleague series at Angel Stadium. The Giants won Friday night's series opener.

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There is no team in the Majors that Holland has faced more than the Angels, thanks mostly to his eight seasons with the Rangers. Holland entered with 162 1/3 innings against the Angels, facing Pujols and Mike Trout often.

Both Pujols and Trout went deep against Holland, with Trout hitting a solo home run in the third inning. The Angels' Jefry Marte also hit a second-inning home run.

"That's a really good team and I personally feel they can be the team that wins the [AL] West," Holland said. "That's a strong lineup. They have to keep their pitching going. I thought today I matched up well with Garrett [Richards] and he kept them in the game, too. We went back and forth, and I thought it was a pretty good battle."

Video: SF@LAA: Holland strikes out Upton looking

Pujols' home run was not only his fifth career long ball against Holland, it was his 2,992nd career hit. Trout crushed his fourth career home run against Holland, as he appeared to hit a breaking ball off the top of the plate, sending the ball over the wall in left field.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he liked the groove Holland got into during the fourth and fifth innings, and was comfortable giving his starter a third chance at the Angels' sluggers.

"We've been using the 'pen quite a bit," Bochy said. "You want him out there that third time a lot of times, but sure, it didn't work out today. But these guys have been doing a pretty good job."

The Giants took an early lead on a two-run home run from Brandon Belt that came one day after his 30th birthday. The ball worked in and out of Trout's glove, as the Angels' center fielder tracked the drive to the wall but could not keep it in the field of play.

Video: SF@LAA: Belt hits a homer that just clears the wall

Holland (0-3) gave up four runs on five hits over six innings, as he remained winless with his new club. He had one walk and six strikeouts. He is now 10-9 in his career against the Angels.

After the game, Holland first took some time to send best wishes to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who had a brain hemorrhage on the White Sox's bench Friday night. Farquhar was stable but in critical condition in a Chicago hospital.

"I tried to write his name on the mound, but with the dirt, it wasn't very well seen," Holland said. "He's a great guy and it's extremely sad to see what happened. I'm praying for him and wishing him nothing but the best."

Holland insisted he was locked in for his duel with the Angels.

"At the end of the day you have to focus on what is going on now and that was not a factor at all in this game," Holland said. "I thought I did a good job for the most part. There were a couple of pitches that were mistakes. The pitch to Pujols, we could be sitting here saying something different if that ball is down."

Richards (3-0) struck out 11 in his six innings for the Angels. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits and walked just one. Keynan Middleton worked a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With the tying run at third base in the eighth inning and the go-ahead run at first, Giants reliever Sam Dyson made the pitch he was looking for against Pujols. The Angels star hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep the game close. But the Angels closed out the victory in the ninth.

Video: SF@LAA: Longoria and Panik combine for a double play

SOUND SMART
Not only did two of the three Giants runs score via a home run Saturday, eight of the Giants' 10 runs in the series thus far have scored on long balls. It has been a theme all season as 34 of their 62 runs (55 percent) have crossed the plate as a result of home runs.

HE SAID IT
"You're always one pitch away from greatness and one pitch away from humility. Today, I got the humility." -- Holland, after three Angels home runs were his undoing in a game where he otherwise located his pitches well

UP NEXT
The Giants will send Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.45 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the series finale at Anaheim. The right-hander will be making his second start since coming off the DL because of a left ankle sprain. He has given up just one earned run in 20 innings and leads the Majors in ERA. The Angels will counter with right-hander Jaime Barria (1-0, 0.45 ERA) in the 1:07 p.m. PT start.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants