Late bullpen implosion sends SF Giants to sixth-straight loss

Brandon Crawford
Brandon Crawford / Norm Hall/GettyImages

For a short stretch late in Tuesday's game, the SF Giants held a lead. That doesn't sound too impressive, but based on how the team had played lately - five straight losses, nary a lead past the fourth in any of them - it was a step up.

Unfortunately, the advantage and the hopes of keeping their skid from becoming the team's worst since May 2019 evaporated in the eighth, as the host Arizona Diamondbacks scored five times to hand the Giants a 6-2 loss.

The Giants took a 2-1 lead into the eighth and sent Dominic Leone into the game in place of Tyler Rogers, who worked a scoreless seventh. Leone allowed a leadoff bunt hit and picked up a strikeout, but a base hit to right moved the runner to third base. The right-hander then threw a wild pitch, scoring the tying run.

Leone walked the next two batters to load the bases and gave way to Camilo Doval, who allowed a sacrifice fly to give the Diamondbacks the lead before a first-pitch blast hit by Daulton Varsho scored the final three runs.

Offensively, the Giants didn't get much going until the fourth inning. Three singles loaded the bases with no outs, and after a strikeout Joc Pederson's sac fly put San Francisco up, 1-0. A walk filled the bags again, but a strikeout ended the inning with the visitors only having picked up one run.

Alex Wood started for the Giants and had one of his best starts of the year, going five innings with four hits, no walks and just one run allowed while whiffing four. The lone run came in his final frame, as a one-out double and two-out single tied the game.

Injury worries for Alex Wood?

Wood was replaced before the sixth inning having thrown just 71 pitches, and he told reporters after the game it was because of a hamstring cramp.

The Giants took the lead again in the seventh. Yermin Mercedes led off with a walk and went to second on a passed ball, but was still there as a strikeout and grounded kept him frozen. With two down, however, recent pickup Austin Wynns blooped the ball down the left-field line. Arizona left fielder Cooper Hummel went into a slide along the found line and had the ball hit off his wrist and bounce away. The call on the field was foul, but the Giants challenged and it got overturned, as it appeared the part of Hummel's body that touched the ball was in fair territory when contact was made, allowing Mercedes to score.

One bright spot for the Orange and Black was the return of Brandon Crawford, who had been on the injured list for over a week. In his absence, the Giants were beset by poor defense at short - both errors and plays not made that Crawford would likely have gotten to. At the plate, Crawford doubled leading off the fifth but didn't score, and the only error the Giants made defensively was on second baseman David Villar, a recent call-up.

The Giants are now just one game over .500 and 10.5 games back of first place in the NL West. They'll attempt to avoid a second-straight sweep as they finish the series with Arizona Wednesday night.