In a season in which the Giants are trying to salvage anything, Saturday was a waste.
A waste of a gritty Jeff Samardzija, who danced into and (somewhat) out of trouble repeatedly. A waste of a pile of hits against a hittable Rich Hill. And a waste of a chance to claim a series early from the Dodgers.
The Giants left 11 runners on base and went 1-of-11 with runners in scoring position, as a winnable game against the Dodgers got away, 7-2. They missed a chance to take two straight to begin the series and fell to 26-37 in front of 37,784 at Oracle Park, as the trade deadline begins crawling into the picture.
They could not get the big hit off Hill, who went five innings of two-run ball while surrendering seven hits and three walks.
Samardzija, who had barked at home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher leaving the mound in the fifth after giving up a game-tying double to Corey Seager, was angry again in the sixth, when the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead they would pad out later. Samardzija struck out Russell Martin before letting up a long double to Kyle Garlick, pinch-hitting for Hill. With 97 pitches, Bruce Bochy elected to stay with Samardzija to face lefty Joc Pederson, and Fletcher ruled an inside pitch nicked Pederson’s pants, and Samardzija yelled toward home plate again. The Giants challenged unsuccessfully.
Samardzija got bruised but not beaten, only retiring the side in order in the second inning. He managed to go 5 1/3 innings on 101 pitches, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks.
Derek Holland then began the bullpen parade with two on and one out, failing to get lefty Max Muncy, who walked. With the bases loaded, Trevor Gott was summoned to face righty Justin Turner, who hit a long fly to right to score Garlick, putting the Giants in a 3-2 hole they would not escape.
The Dodgers blew it open – slowly – in the eighth, loading the bases off Dereck Rodriguez, who then walked both Muncy and Turner to put the Giants down 5-2. Rodriguez, in his third outing since being demoted to the bullpen, imploded, not recording an out while walking those two and giving up two hits and two runs. Mark Melancon then entered, and after a wild pitch and out at the plate, Seager doubled to left, putting the Giants down 7-2 and making this a laugher.
The Giants’ best threat came and went in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with no outs. But Kevin Pillar fouled out to first base, and Brandon Crawford bounced into a double play, keeping the score knotted at two. The Giants stranded seven runners on base in the first five innings.
It had started troublingly for Samardzija, who immediately got himself into trouble in a 28-pitch first inning, which began with back-to-back pitches in which the entire outfield could have been wiped out. First left-fielder Tyler Austin slid into the wall trying to field a ball that went foul and was shaken up, staying in the game after a trainer checked on him. The next pitch led to Kevin Pillar and Mike Yastrzemski crashing into each other, with Yastrzemski making the catch and both avoiding injury.
After the scares, Samardzija had his first, loading the bases on two hits and a walk. But Alex Verdugo bounced to first to end a threat that Samardzija must be used to. His first-inning ERA entering the game was 9.00.