Not much offense took place Friday night on the shores of McCovey Cove, as the SF Giants squandered an early chance to score and dropped their series opener to the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, thanks to a ninth-inning unearned run.
The crucial play in the final frame came on a somewhat-rare missed-catch error as part of a sequence of unfortunate events for the Giants. Young closer Camilo Doval, after allowing a drive that was tracked down by Austin Slater in Triples Alley, induced a ground ball to the right side. Brandon Belt made the throw to Doval covering first base, but it was just off the tip of the pitcher's glove and allowed the runner to reach.
After a strikeout for the second out, A.J. Pollock hit a bouncing ball down the third-base line. Jason Vosler was positioned behind the bag and ready to make a throw to end the inning, but the ball struck the base and ricocheted toward straightaway left field. Vosler lunged and gloved the ball, but the extra time it took allowed Pollock to beat the throw.
The next hitter, Leury Garcia, grounded a single into right field. Mike Yastrzemski came up firing and made a strong throw, but pinch-runner Adam Haseley slid across the plate just ahead of the tag by Austin Wynns to score the only run of the game.
At the beginning of the contest it didn't look like the game would be scoreless into the ninth. The Giants put together a two-out rally in the first, loading the bases with two walks sandwiched around a single, but a Tommy La Stella strikeout stranded all three runners.
Cobb in control
The hosts put an occasional runner on base after that but never really threatened, but Alex Cobb was shutting down the White Sox in an attempt to give the offense time to find their rhythm.
Cobb, in his third start since coming off the injured list, had his best outing of the season. He allowed just three hits and one walk in five scoreless innings of work, striking out three batters and using just 67 pitches. Chicago only gave him trouble in the fifth, as a pair of one out singles put the potential first run of the game in scoring position, but a fly out and groundout left the runners on base to keep the game tied.
The Giants' seventh loss in their last 10 games, combined with a Los Angeles victory over San Diego, dropped San Francisco to 7.5 games back of the NL West lead. They are just one game out of a Wild Card spot at this point, and have two games remaining this weekend with the sub-.500 White Sox.