© Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
If all you saw of Wednesday night’s game were the second and eighth innings, you saw just about all there was to see. Eight of the 12 runs scored in the Giants’ 8-4 loss to the San Diego Padres came in the second, with starting pitcher Chris Stratton involved in all eight of them. The other four came in the eighth.
After tonight, Stratton will probably be fine with not hitting for extra-bases. In the top of the second, with two outs and the bases loaded, he shot a double into the right-center field gap to clear the bases, giving the Giants a 3-0 lead.
But in the bottom half of the second, Stratton was rocked by the San Diego Padres. He opened the inning by committing the cardinal sin of a leadoff walk. Stratton has shown the ability to work through traffic and recover from mistakes, but he did not display that ability tonight.
Instead, Stratton allowed three straight singles, the last two of which drove in a pair of runs. After the last single, Manuel Margot tied the game at 3-3 with a sacrifice fly.
He picked up a sacrifice bunt from Padres starter Robbie Erlin for the second out of the inning, but the onslaught picked up again after that. Wil Myers came up next and tagged Stratton for a two-run shot to secure a 5-3 Padres lead, and Stratton allowed a single to follow.
There was nearly more damage done, as Hunter Renfroe scorched a ball to deep center field next. It forced Gorkys Hernandez to make a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning, but unlike last night, there was no blue t-shirted fan to interrupt the catch at the wall.
Giants broadcaster and former starting pitcher Mike Krukow said a double like Stratton’s often gets a pitcher out of their normal rhythm. It gives you a shot of adrenaline, Krukow said.
The game went just like a spike of adrenaline did. It shot up for the eight-run second inning, then disappeared. But it returned in the eighth inning.
With two outs and the Giants in desperate need of some sort of offensive shot in the arm, Aramis Garcia shot an impossibly difficult home run ball to right field, cutting the deficit to 5-4. It was Garcia’s third home run since arriving in the majors, making him 10-for-30 with five RBIs.
But, as was the case in the second inning, the Padres raised the Giants’ scoring efforts with their own. Ray Black slotted in for Ty Blach after a leadoff single. Black walked his first batter and struck out his next before facing Freddy Galvis. He managed a strike after three straight balls, leaving the count at 3-1.
On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Galvis hit a monster home run to left field, leaving Black to turn and stare toward the ground. It gave the Padres an 8-4 lead that the Giants failed to respond to in the eighth. Despite the loss, the Giants took the series 2-1 over the Padres. The team will stay the night in San Diego before flying to Saint Louis tomorrow for a three-game series against the Cardinals that starts on Thursday.