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Questionable call ends late rally; SF Giants lose by 1

Andrew Haynes
Brandon Belt
Brandon Belt / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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After taking the final two games of a weekend series in San Diego - with the finale being their biggest margin of victory this season - the SF Giants appeared to have some momentum as they returned home for a series with division-rival Arizona.

That momentum didn't carry over, and the Giants trailed from the third inning on. Despite a late rally where the put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base, they dropped the opener of the series 4-3.

Possibly the most crucial moment of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning. San Francisco entered the frame trailing, 4-1, but rallied with Lamonte Wade Jr. drawing a walk, Darin Ruf reaching on an infield single and Wilmer Flores driving in Wade with a double. Austin Slater then pinch-hit for Brandon Belt, who was 3-for-3 in the game, and grounded out to plate Ruf and pull the Giants within one.

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Consecutive walks to Luis Gonzalez and David Villar loaded the bases with one out, bringing up Brandon Crawford. The veteran shortstop, in the midst of a tough season at the plate, got ahead 2-0 before pulling a pitch sharply to first base. Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker spun and fired to second base for the second out of the inning, and Geraldo Perdomo threw back to first base with pitcher Noe Ramirez at the bag. The ball arrived at the same time as Crawford's foot, and the call on the bang-bang play went in favor of the visitors. The Giants challenged but the out was upheld, ending the inning with San Francisco down by one.

The hosts put a runner on to start the bottom of the ninth but couldn't advance him.

Arizona was threatening to score against right-handed starter Alex Cobb from the very beginning, putting two runners on in both the first and second innings but being held off the scoreboard. They broke through in the third, scoring three times with two out thanks to four singles, a walk and an error.

The Giants put up their first run in the fourth, when Flores doubled, moved to third base on a Belt single and scored when Gonzalez hit into a force play with Belt being retired at second base. A chance for a bigger inning was shut down after Gonzalez stole second and Villar walked, as Crawford grounded out to end the frame.

The Diamondbacks added to their lead in the top of the eighth on a walk, stolen base and pinch-hit single.

The Giants and Diamondbacks play the second game of their series Tuesday night at Oracle Park, with San Francisco needing a win to remain above .500 on the season

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