Rewind: Phillies vs Giants. Game #3

Winless in Thursday games this season, the Giants hoped to capture the rubber match after a tight win last night. However, the Giants were unable to capitalize on some key opportunities, as their frustrating series at the plate continued onto a game where they just came up short.

After a spectacular outing against the Reds, Kirk Rueter looked to duplicated his performance against the Phillies' Vincente Padilla.

The Phillies got to work right away on Rueter in the second as Jim Thome, who sat out yesterday's game because of a sore thumb, led off the inning with a single. Bay Area native Pat Burrell doubled to right field to knock in Thome as the game's first run. Jason Michaels drew a walk, and Chase Utley moved the runners over by grounding out.

After Phillies' manager Larry Bowa was ejected, Todd Pratt hit a sacrifice fly to score Burrell with Michaels advancing to third on the play. Padilla helped his own cause by following the two runs with a single up the middle, a grounder that slipped out of Neifi Perez's hand, and allowed Michaels to score. Marlon Byrd grounded out to finally end the inning for Rueter and the Giants.

In the bottom of the second, the Giants responded right away as A.J. Pierzynski smacked his first homerun of the year and his first as a Giant to right center. However, that was the only run the Giants could get until the next inning as Ray Durham singled in his first game back since being on the 15-day DL.

He advanced to second on a throwing error by Burrell, and former Giant, David Bell, dropped a pop up in foul territory, which resulted in a Michael Tucker single that knocked in Durham for another Giant run.

Philadelphia countered in the fourth as Michaels hit a solo shot to give the Phillies a two run advantage again. The game remained scoreless as Rueter took his exit in the seventh to make way for Scott Eyre to face the lefty Thome. Jim Brower and Felix Rodriguez each pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to set the table for the Giants in the bottom of the ninth.

Fortunately for San Francisco, the Phillies' dangerous closer, Billy Wagner, was unable to make it into the game due to back spasms. Amaury Telemaco came into the game instead and got Durham to ground out, but gave up a walk to Tucker. He made his exit for Ryan Madson to face Grissom and Barry Bonds. Grissom lined to Burrell, who misjudged the ball and allowed Tucker to get to third with Grissom safely on board second.

Then, you know what's next. Bonds was walked intentionally, and Pedro Feliz was at the plate again with the bases loaded. This time, he grounded out softly to short, and gave Tucker a chance to score. Pierzynzki was the Giants' last hope with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. However, what looked to be a bloop to left field fell into Burrell's glove, who held on extra tight to make sure he caught the ball this time around.

Notes: The Giants loaded the bases again in the seventh, but former Giant Tim Worrell came into his second game of the series to face just his second batter and got Pedro Feliz to ground into a force out to end the inning. Twelve men were left on base, and the Giants were 1-9 with runners in scoring position in this game, and 3-25 in the series... With Ray Durham activated, the Giants sent Brian Dallimore back to Triple-A Fresno.

Players of the Game: A.J. Pierzynski had the Giants' only long ball today. It's a great sign for the Giants that he's starting to hit. Michael Tucker also had a nice game, and had the only hit with runners in scoring position. Felix Rodriguez and Jim Brower did a great job coming out of the bullpen to give the Giants a chance to catch up.



Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara atkwanchino@alpha-q.net

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