Rewind: Giants at Tigers; Game 3

It looked all too promising. The Giants celebrated Father's Day by trotting out the kids, including an all-rookie outfield, who responded by providing enough firepower to win Sunday afternoon in Detroit. Through 8 1/2 innings, the youngsters made their dads and Felipe Alou proud. Unfortunately, baseball requires nine full innings and the Tigers, who stormed back from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth, eventually won, 10-8, in extra innings at Comerica Park.

“You have a lead, and all of a sudden you have a losing streak,” manager Felipe Alou said. “It happens in this game. (Walker) pitched so well the other day, but he needs to be consistent.”

Walker could not replicate Friday night’s historic performance as he blew just his first save in 10 tries since becoming the official closer.

“It's a very humbling game,” Walker said after he surrendered the game-tying homerun to Chris Shelton. “It was a fastball. It was supposed to be down and I threw it up and down the middle; I overthrew it.”

Reliever Scott Eyre (1-1) overthrew a fastball of his own and served up the game-winning homerun to recently-acquired Placido Polanco in the bottom of the 10th frame.

San Francisco (28-39) has now dropped two in a row after winning three straight, ending their AL Central road trip at 3-3.

“The last week and a half we've been playing much better baseball,” Walker said. “There was a stretch when we were trying real hard but not getting any breaks. It seemed like it was turning around for us. (Sunday) I felt I let everybody down.”

The Giants closer especially let the kids down in what should have been a great storyline for Father’s Day.

San Francisco’s homegrown youngsters accounted for seven of the Giants’ eight RBI in the game, including Adam Shabala’s first big-league hit – a two-run scoring single in the second inning.

“Maybe we showed Felipe we can go out and compete a little bit,” Shabala said. “We're not going to be in the lineup every day, but maybe we let him know he has young guys who can come off the bench and play the game the way he wants it to be played and help the team win.”

Fellow Giants farmhand Todd Linden almost propelled his team to victory when his three-run homerun gave San Francisco a brief 8-5 lead in the top of the ninth.

“The whole game was exciting,” Linden said. “I was just trying to help my team win, it doesn't matter who it is.”

In this case, it does matter since the G-Men’s recent display of fire and spirit, which has been lacking up until this week, can be attributed to the infusion of young talent that has been called up recently.

Out of the 25 players on the current roster, San Francisco fielded 10 players from their farm system (11 if you include Deivi Cruz) this weekend in Detroit.

“I came out after three games looking at the Giants and saying they're as good as I've seen in the NL West,” said Tigers manager Alan Trammell, who has seen all five teams this season. “I know they're not, because of their record, but that's what I saw.”

Perhaps Trammell saw a group hungrier than they appeared to be the entire month of June. After losing 10 of their first 12 games this month, the Giants have won three of the last five and look livelier than ever.

San Francisco will look to transfer that newfound enthusiasm into actual victories as they travel home to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday.

Left-hander Noah Lowry (3-6, 5.59 ERA) will take the mound against D-Backs ace Javier Vazquez (7-4, 4.30 ERA) to open the four-game series at the ballpark on 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

Game Notes: First baseman Lance Niekro, in his first game back from an injured big toe, hit his eighth homerun of the season and went 2-for-6 with 2 RBI. … Centerfielder Jason Ellison made a nice diving catch in the first inning to rob Polanco of extra bases. … Second baseman Ray Durham continued his rough defensive display as he booted a possible double play in the third. The Tigers eventually scored on a sac fly that should have been the third out. … Starter Jesse Foppert lasted just 3 1/3 innings, walking six batters and striking out three. He surrendered four runs on four hits. … Jamie Walker (3-3) picked up the win in relief for the Tigers (33-33).



Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at phildelacruz@aol.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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