In the early going, things did not look bad at all for Giants starter Kirk Rueter. He had sent down the first five Los Angeles batters in order, and with two outs in the second inning, he was nearing the bottom of the Dodgers lineup. Unfortunately, he walked J.D. Drew and then Antonio Perez hit a two-run shot to put the Dodgers in the lead.
The Giants continued to struggle against Brad Penny, as he shut them down in order in both the second and the third. In the fourth, Jeff Kent hit a double to left off of his former teammate. Olmedo Saenz grounded out to move Kent to third. Drew walked for the second time in the game and Antonio Perez was the culprit again, hitting a single to right to drive in Kent and make the score 3-0.
However, Rueter pitched nicely from this point on, giving up only a single and a walk until Matt Herges relieved him after recording one out in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, they Giants were not giving their starting pitcher any run support. They had runners at first and third with two out in the fifth but were unable to make anything of it.
But in the eighth, everything changed. Right off the bat (pun intended) Deivi Cruz hit a solo shot to finally give the Giants a run. With one out, Omar Vizquel singled to center and J.T. Snow hit a double to right to put runners at second and third with just one out. Jason Ellison came in to pinch-run for Snow and Moises Alou walked to load the bases with just one out. With two down, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a single to right-center to score Vizquel and Ellison and tie the game at three runs apiece.
In the ninth the tables turned yet again. Jason Christiansen walked Drew for Drew's third walk of the evening and then the Giants gave him the hook and brought out Tyler Walker, who had been exceptional in save situations in the past two weeks. Unfortunately for him and his team, this was not a save situation and he was not exceptional or even decent. He immediately gave up a single to Perez, moving Drew to third and walked Paul Bako, loading the bases for pinch-hitter and ex-Giant Ricky Ledee.
Ledee, sadly for his former team and fortunately for his new one, was not the caliber of player he had shown himself to be when he was donning the orange and black. Instead, he was actually a good hitter. He singled to center, scoring both Drew and Perez. The Giants had some luck getting Bako thrown at third but some more bad luck when Ledee advanced to second on the throw, getting rid of the opportunity for an inning-ending double play. With two down, Jayson Werth hit a single to make the score 6-3 in favor of the Dodgers.
The Giants went to the bottom of the ninth with a lot of work to do, and were unable to do it. Two consecutive two-out doubles off the bats of Michael Tucker and Vizquel brought the Giants within two, but that's as close as they would get.
Player of the Game:
Edgardo Alfonzo. His single tied the game, and if the Giants relief pitching had been like it was in the past week or so it would have been much more of a force in the ballgame. Omar Vizquel gets an honorable mention. He got three hits and was a factor in two of his team's four runs. Kirk Rueter deserves some recognition as well. Luckily he wasn't stuck with an unfair loss, but if the Giants bats had been hitting like they were in support of Tomko and Schmidt, he'd be 3-3 right now.
The Giants are now again in sole possession of fourth place and 4.5 games out of first after their loss tonight and San Diego's win. Before tonight's outing, Tyler Walker had retied 19 of 20 batters as the team's closer. Antonio Perez went 4 for 4 against the Giants.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to email@example.com
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