Offensive Woes Continue for SF

Things went from bad to worse for the Giants on Friday night in Philly. Already struggling offensively, the team will be without its leading hitter for an extended period of time.

It was a painful night all the way around for the Giants on Friday at Citizen’s Bank Field in Philadelphia. After Moises Alou was carted off the field in the third inning, the Phillies offense inflicted a hurting of its own on San Francisco’s beleaguered pitching staff hitting six home runs, including two apiece by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, as the Phillies cruised to an 8-3 victory.

In the bottom of the third inning, Alou sprained his ankle while chasing a ball in the right field corner. While he didn’t suffer any broken bones, trainer Stan Conte indicated that the right fielder will miss at least two weeks. Alou’s injury is a devastating blow to the Giants offense, which has struggled mightily as of late. He leads the team with seven homers and 25 RBI’s while providing protection in the lineup batting behind Barry Bonds.

The Giants took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Omar Vizquel lined a solo homer over the right field fence off of Phillies starter Gavin Floyd.

That lead was short-lived however, as Philadelphia roughed up right hander Matt Cain for three runs in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, second baseman Chase Utley hit his first homer of the night, a solo shot to right, to tie the score at one.

After Bobby Abreu walked, slugger Ryan Howard crushed a two-run homer, his seventh of the season, deep into the right field seats to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

The Giants came right back with two runs in the third. Randy Winn led off the inning with a solo homer to right.  Vizquel followed with a flare to right for a base hit. After Bonds was intentionally walked, Alou singled to left scoring Vizquel, tying the game at three.

"I feel pretty bad because I think Mo has been the engine that has been moving things around when they pitch around Barry," Vizquel told the AP. "He has been the guy that has been bringing guys home."

Floyd (3-2) combined with three relievers shutting down San Francisco’s offense the rest of the way.

Howard made Cain pay once again in the bottom of the third hitting his second homer of the night, a towering blast to center-field, putting Philadelphia in front 4-3. The Phillies first baseman, who finished with his second career multi-homer game, was thrilled to have such a big night in front of Bonds whom he idolized as a kid.

“You could say it was special to do it in front of somebody like that," Howard said, referring to Bonds. "I got to meet him before the game. He just said to stay with it. It was cool for me, he was kind of a hero to me growing up."

Cain (1-4) ran into more trouble in the bottom of the fourth. After Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a walk Utley clubbed a two-run shot to center, his second homer of the game, as the Phillies extended their lead to 6-3. The young right-hander suffered his worst outing of the year allowing six runs and nine hits in four innings. He also served up a career high four home runs on the night.

The Giants will look to rebound Saturday night as Jamey Wright takes the mound against Ryan Madsen @ 4:05pm.

Game Notes: Friday’s game marked the 14th time in 29 games that the Giants have scored three runs or less… Vizquel played his 2,302nd game at SS, tying Cal Ripken Jr. for third most at the position behind Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio (2,581) and Ozzie Smith (2,511) (AP)…Lance Niekro, mired in a 1-26 slump, was given the night off…Alou is 5-9 this season after an intentional walk to Bonds… the Giants fell to (14-15) on the season and have lost 5 of their last 6 games.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Omar Vizquel had two hits including his second homer of the season in the first inning

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