Rewind: Giants vs Devil Rays, Game #3

After a heart breaking, extra inning loss yesterday, the Giants looked to come back to take the rubber match of the series. Without their superstar in the lineup, and a struggling pitcher on the mound, the Giants' bats were kept quiet again as they were unable to catch up with Tampa Bay's hits.

Kirk Rueter took the mound today in hopes of gaining a win and getting out of his season long slump. He goes up against the tough, but wild, righty, Victor Zambrano.

The Giants got onboard in the top of the first without getting a hit as Michael Tucker led off the game with a walk. Neifi Perez hit a ball to the first baseman, Tino Martinez, who couldn't get a handle on the ball, allowing Tucker to advance to third, and Perez to second. Marquis Grissom proceeded to hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Tucker and send Perez to third. However, A.J. Pierzynski grounded out without advancing Perez, and Edgardo Alfonzo struck out to end the inning.

Tampa Bay came back in the bottom of the second as Aubrey Huff singled, and Jose Cruz, Jr. hit a double to left-center for the D-Rays' first run of the game. With one out, Jose Bautista drew a walk, but with Brook Fordyce batting and striking out, Cruz was caught stealing third to end the inning.

Up until the fifth inning, Rueter and Zambrano threw zeros on the board. However, in the bottom half of the fifth, Tampa Bay broke the tie with two outs as Carl Crawford doubled. Julio Lugo drew a walk, and Rocco Baldelli smacked a roundtripper to give the D-Rays a three run advantage. Huff singled, but Cruz flied out to end the inning.

The D-Rays came back for more in the sixth as Rueter gave up another walk to Martinez. Bautista singled, and after Fordyce struck out, Rey Sanchez doubled past Grissom in center field for another Tampa Bay run. This ended the night for Rueter and made way for another lefty, Wayne Franklin, who got out of the inning without giving up another run.

The Giants loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with one out, but as Zambrano left the game, the Tampa Bay bullpen struck Tucker out and got pinch-hitter, Todd Linden, to pop out to end the threat and inning.

In the top of the eighth, the Giants were again threatening as Pierzynski got on board with a one-out double, the Giants' first extra base hit of the night. Alfonzo blooped a single to center, but Damon Minor struck out. On a wild pitch, Alfonzo advanced to second, but Feliz struck out on a pitch in the dirt to end the inning.

The Giants got one run back in the ninth as Tucker smashed his seventh jack of the year with two outs to keep the game alive. However, Cody Ransom popped out to end the game as the Giants lose the series to Tampa Bay.

Players of the Game: Wayne Franklin pitched more than two scoreless innings that enabled the rest of the beat up bullpen to get some rest after yesterday's outing. Michael Tucker continues to be the Giants' hottest hitter with another hot potato today.



Sara Kwan is a writer for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up: kwanchino@alpha-q.net.

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