OAKLAND -- The Giants had no defense, in a manner of speaking for their performance in Wednesday's 7-1 Interleague loss to the Oakland A's.The team that began the evening with the Major Leagues' third-best record and a six-game lead in the National League West endured a two-inning stretch of play
OAKLAND -- The Giants had no defense, in a manner of speaking for their performance in Wednesday's 7-1 Interleague loss to the Oakland A's.
The team that began the evening with the Major Leagues' third-best record and a six-game lead in the National League West endured a two-inning stretch of play in the field that fell far short of its usual lofty standard. The Giants committed three errors, rendering four of Oakland's seven runs off Jake Peavy unearned.
"We just have to clean it up," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's what we were doing very well, catching the ball. That's gotten away from us."
In fairness to the Giants, their first error resulted from sincere effort. Second baseman Ramiro Pena and right fielder Mac Williamson collided while pursuing Marcus Semien's third-inning popup. They couldn't hear each other calling for the ball, hence the oncoming Williamson inadvertently knocked the ball loose from Pena's grasp. Semien sped to third base and an error was charged to Pena.
After Semien scored on Billy Burns' safety-squeeze bunt, left fielder Angel Pagan tried to cut off Coco Crisp's liner toward the gap instead of angling toward the ball, which darted past him for a triple. No error was charged on the misplay.
"It skipped a little bit," Pagan said. "I thought the ball would stop a little before that, but it just skipped and passed me."
Jed Lowrie delivered a two-run homer off Peavy, a drive that Williamson had in his glove as he leaped above the eight-foot wall. The fickle ball trickled out of the glove's webbing.
Then Ruben Tejada, San Francisco's brand-new third baseman, attempted to make a basket catch on Josh Reddick's foul pop. Tejada couldn't hang onto the ball. Perhaps the baseball gods were punishing him for attempting something that just one Giant -- Willie Mays, of course -- could ever master.
When Williamson's bid for a grand slam hooked foul in the fourth inning, it seemed that luck had forsaken the Giants. This conviction grew when Williamson grounded into an inning-ending double play, setting up opportunities for more leaky defense.
Pagan, who has performed capably in his transition from center to left field, continued to struggle. He caught up with Semien's fourth-inning drive to the warning track but didn't settle under the ball, which was initially scored a triple. The official scorer later changed the play to an error.
Asked whether he lost the ball in the lights, Pagan said, "It wasn't the lights. It was the sky. Sometimes the sky is dark, the ball is hit really high and you can't see it. I gave my best effort to get there and I couldn't catch it."
Pagan tried to pounce on Burns' subsequent hit, but he played it off his glove for a double.
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.