The San Francisco Giants lost 7-6 to the Chicago White Sox this afternoon. It’s their 5th straight loss, the longest losing streak so far this season. The Giants have lost 8 of 9 and were swept in this brief 2-game series in Chicago.
The White Sox got to Hudson in the top of the first with some impressive clutch hitting. After two quick outs, and an 0-2 count, Conor Gillaspie doubled on a line drive down the right field line. Hudson then had 26-year old rookie sensation Jose Abreu down 0-2 when Abreu dug out a low inside pitch and hit a laser beam of a shot over the wall in left field to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
That was Abreu’s 20th home run this season, just one behind leader Nelson Cruz. It was bound to happen this series, Abreu came in to the game today averaging 1 home run for every 11.74 at bats. Abreu is now the 3rd fastest player in MLB history to reach 20 career home runs, doing so in his 58th game. The two players ahead of him on that list are Wally Berger (51) and Mark McGwire (56).
The White Sox added two more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. Adam Dunn led off with a walk, which is never good as they tend to come around to score. Dayan Viciedo singled to center field with one out and Alejandro De Aza followed that with a bloop single to left field to load the bases.
Tyler Flowers, who is the ninth place hitter in the Sox lineup, singled on a chopper up the middle to score Dunn (that leadoff walk) and Viciedo. The ball bounced just over the glove of a leaping Hudson as it made its way up the middle for the hit. That snapped an 0-for-25 streak for Flowers. He’d only had 3 hits in his last 16 games prior to today.
The Giants mounted a little rally in the top of the 5th inning against Sox starter Chris Sale. Gregor Blanco singled to center with 1-out to get things going. Hunter Pence then broke his bat as he blooped a single in front of the diving Adam Eaton in center field. Buster Posey drove in the Giants first run with a single up the middle that also moved Pence to 3rd. Pablo Sandoval followed that with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-2.
Tim Hudson promptly handed those runs, plus an extra, right back to the White Sox. Gillaspie and Abreu led off the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles to right field. Hudson then worked Adam Dunn to an 0-2 count, before once again allowing the long ball as Dunn deposited one in the right field bullpen to extend the Sox lead to 7-2. It was Dunn’s 12th HR this season, and the second big fly Hudson allowed with an 0-2 count today.
The Giants pecked away for the rest of the game but just couldn’t get back over the hump. Buster Posey drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. The Giants scored 2 more in the 8th on a Gregor Blanco double and a Hunter Pence ground out.
One run was as close as it was going to get for the Giants. They scored one more time in the 9th inning to make it a 7-6 game but could not push across at least the tying run.
A few of the positives from today:
Santiago Casilla made his first appearance since coming back from his hamstring injury. He retired all 6 White Sox batters he faced in the 7th and 8th innings.
Buster Posey went 2-for-3 and drove in 2 runs. He looks healthier.
Gregor Blanco had a day. After striking out to lead off the game he was not retired again. Blanco went 3-for-4 with a walk and drove in a run. The really impressive thing was that his 2 singles came against Chris Sale. Before today Sale had only allowed 2 hits in 37 at bats to left-handed batters all season, and those were both to Josh Hamilton.
After a day off tomorrow the Giants head to the desert and start a 3-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Friday’s game is 8:40 PT in Phoenix as Tim Lincecum will try to stop the slide.