SEATTLE -- For the fourth consecutive contest, the Giants tried to overcome multiple innings of listless offense with a late rally and airtight relief pitching. It's a risk-filled combination that's difficult to sustain, and this time the house of cards tumbled in the eighth inning as San Francisco lost an
SEATTLE -- For the fourth consecutive contest, the Giants tried to overcome multiple innings of listless offense with a late rally and airtight relief pitching. It's a risk-filled combination that's difficult to sustain, and this time the house of cards tumbled in the eighth inning as San Francisco lost an Interleague matinee Wednesday to the Mariners, 3-2.
Jean Segura's eighth-inning RBI single off Sam Dyson snapped a 2-2 tie and forced the Giants to settle for a split of the two-game series.
Due to the bunched, balanced nature of the National League West race, the Giants already face urgency each day.
"I know we have less than 60 games [remaining] now," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. His math was excellent; San Francisco's schedule has 59 games left.
The Giants missed a chance to trim the deficit which separates them from the first-place Dodgers to 3 1/2 games.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hyperextended his right knee while running the bases in the seventh inning. He'll be tested and examined Thursday to determine the extent of the injury. Regardless of the prognosis on Belt, San Francisco might feel prompted to activate third baseman Evan Longoria (fractured left hand) from the disabled list to bolster the lineup with just the threat of a big bat.
The Giants' daily drama is unfolding with next Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching. Obtaining the big bat they need will be virtually impossible. San Francisco simply doesn't have enough prospects or economic room under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold to acquire a true impact hitter. Longoria, in essence, may have to serve as that guy.
Adding a reliever to provide help for the gradually fraying setup corps also is unlikely to happen. With Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder tightness) on the disabled list and Johnny Cueto's velocity diminished due to a right elbow injury, the Giants reportedly have interest in Detroit left-hander Francisco Liriano to provide depth for the rotation. Such a move probably would help San Francisco, but it wouldn't strike fear into the hearts of the Dodgers, D-backs and Rockies, either.
So, the Giants are forced to depend on their sheer competitiveness every day. Left-hander Derek Holland, an eternal optimist, feels certain that San Francisco is "one click away" from building a long winning streak that will catapult it beyond its NL West rivals.
"Everybody's gearing up," said Holland, who surrendered two runs and three hits in six innings.
Hunter Pence swung well during the Giants' "trip" (remember, they began the second half with a three-game series at Oakland). He went 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Immediately before Segura's go-ahead hit, the Giants appeared to receive a break when a replay review proved that Gordon was out at first base on a sacrifice-bunt attempt. Hence, the "safe" call was reversed and the Giants had a valuable out. But it wasn't enough.
The Giants will begin a four-game series against the Brewers on Thursday at AT&T Park. Rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, San Francisco's hottest pitcher, will oppose Milwaukee's Wade Miley in the 7:15 p.m. PT opener.
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.