Rewind: Giants vs. Dbacks, Game #3

The Giants lose yet again, dropping the rubber match against the Diamondbacks despite getting 15 hits. The club's playoff hopes are becoming bleaker and bleaker after falling to 3-13 since July 23. The Giants' biggest concern Wednesday was timely hitting, which was non-existent in the losing effort.

The Giants certainly had their chances, but turning 15 hits into just three runs won't get the job done. Except for starting pitcher Matt Morris, every hitter in the starting lineup had at least one hit, but the bats became silent once runners were in scoring position. The Giants grounded into an amazing five double plays, squandering opportunity after opportunity on their way to yet another disappointing performance in a 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Arizona struck first with a Chad Tracy RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. The Giants answered back immediately, however, when Eliezer Alfonzo knocked in Shea Hillenbrand with a double to tie it at one apiece in the second inning. The game remained scoreless until a Luis Gonzalez two-run homer made it 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth.

The fifth inning would prove to be starter Matt Morris' last, as it took him 102 pitches to get through five. He allowed three runs on seven hits and fell to 8-10 on the year. Morris now has only one quality start in his last five outings. He kept his team in the game, however, and with the Giants pounding out 15 hits, Morris could have easily came away victorious Wednesday.

In the sixth inning, Hillenbrand got the Giants back on the board by singling in Ray Durham to bring the Giants within one run. Hillenbrand, who has really struggled since the Giants acquired him, entered Wednesday's contest with just two RBI in 62 at-bats with his new club. Although he's still yet to take a walk, maybe Wednesday's 3-for-4 effort will get Hillenbrand going. The Giants certainly hope so.

Brad Hennessey took over for Morris and after tossing a scoreless sixth inning, surrendered an RBI double to Orlando Hudson in the seventh to make it a 4-2 game. The Giants attempted a comeback in the eighth when Pedro Feliz hit a sacrifice fly off Arizona reliever Brandon Lyon, scoring Moises Alou and making it a 4-3 Giants deficit. The rally was thwarted, however, when Hillenbrand followed with an inning-ending double play, the fifth of the night for San Francisco. The Diamondbacks responded right back when Stephen Drew tripled to deep right off Steve Kline to score Carlos Quentin and make it a 5-3 lead for Arizona.

The Giants started the ninth with an Alfonzo single, which brought pinch hitter Barry Bonds as the tying runner to the plate. Unfortunately, he struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Diamondbacks' closer Jorge Julio then induced a Randy Winn groundout and then struck out Omar Vizquel to end it. The Giants had plenty of chances to score some runs Wednesday, but ultimately put just three across the plate and will now have to regroup, as the team begins a huge three-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers Friday.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Shea Hillenbrand entered Wednesday hitting a paltry .226 with an atrocious .625 OPS since becoming a Giant. Wednesday saw him go 3-for-4, which raised his average nearly 30 points. After homering Monday and now getting his first three-hit game in a Giants' uniform, hopefully this is the start of something good.



Dalton can be reached at seven3d@aol.com for any complaints, questions or preferably, compliments.

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