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Romo highlights bullpen's stalwart effort

Giants right-hander continues roll with 1 2/3 hitless innings vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Sergio Romo was a primary reason the Giants' 5-4, 14-inning setback administered by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night lasted as long as it did.

Romo contributed 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief, extending his recent surge to one run allowed in his last 19 innings, which span 18 appearances. He has struck out 25 and walked two during this stretch while trimming his ERA from 5.19 to 3.20.

The right-hander entered the game in the eighth inning with Dodgers baserunners on the corners, one out and the score tied, 4-4. Romo preserved the deadlock by retiring pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke on a popup and Carl Crawford on a groundout.

Romo caused himself trouble by walking Yasmani Grandal to open the ninth. Pinch-runner Jose Peraza proceeded to advance on a sacrifice bunt and steal third base. Then Romo toughened, striking out pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis and Jimmy Rollins swinging.

Left-handed batters entered the game batting .426 (20-for-47) off Romo. He disregarded this trend against the Dodgers, retiring a trio of lefties and switch-hitters: Crawford, Grandal and Rollins.

Romo was part of a resolute effort that featured seven consecutive scoreless innings from the bullpen, extending from the seventh through 13th innings. This helped produce the Giants' longest game of the year, in terms of time and innings. It also was the longest Giants-Dodgers game since May 2, 1995, when San Francisco prevailed in 15 innings, 4-3, at Candlestick Park.

Video: [email protected]: Casilla gets Kershaw to end the 11th inning

"What a gutty job by our bullpen," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

However, the relievers' effectiveness, as well as their luck, ran out as Mike Broadway loaded the bases with nobody out in the 14th by issuing a leadoff walk to Ellis and yielding singles to Rollins and Chase Utley. Adrian Gonzalez followed with the game-winning single off Yusmeiro Petit.

Bochy acknowledged he was relying upon tired arms at the game's conclusion. Petit had rested only one day since pitching three innings Saturday against St. Louis, and Broadway was appearing for the third consecutive game and fourth in the team's last five.

But by the 14th inning, with each team having used 21 players one day before rosters can expand to 40, neither team had much choice.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
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