Via contributing writer Matt Leland of ‘Leland on the Giants’:
SAN FRANCISCO- For the 2017 Giants, Thursday’s series finale against the Dodgers represented an opportunity to push their season in the right direction. Instead, the team finished its four-game set with Los Angeles still searching for the way forward.
Matt Moore’s pitching gem and another big hit from Christian Arroyo were not enough as the Giants fumbled their chance at a series victory in a 5-1, 10-inning defeat before AT&T Park’s 500th consecutive sellout crowd.
Deadlocked after nine frames, the Dodgers pieced together the go-ahead rally in the tenth with some help from the Giants bullpen. Cory Gearrin began the inning by walking Adrian Gonzalez and gave way to Steven Okert. Chase Utley dribbled a ball up the third base line that Arroyo could not make a play on. With two runners on, Okert then issued a walk to pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal to load the bases with no outs.
Andrew Toles followed with the dagger, a soft liner to right-center that fell in between Gorkys Hernandez and Hunter Pence and put the Dodgers ahead to stay.
The rest of the inning was just as ugly. Hunter Strickland relieved Okert but lacked his recent effectiveness. After a sacrifice fly pushed the Dodgers lead to 3-1, Strickland relinquished two more runs, including one on a bases loaded walk of Chris Taylor.
When Strickland finally retired Ross Stripling to end the top half of the tenth, the score was 5-1 and much of the afternoon crowd had dispersed.
Despite the loss, there were still reasons for the 41,580 fans in attendance to cheer. Moore rebounded from two straight disappointing starts, throwing seven innings and allowing just one run—a first inning home run by Corey Seager. Moore would surrender just one more hit after Seager’s blast, accounting for his fewest amount of base-runners since his near no-hitter at Dodger Stadium on August 25.
He was denied a win, however, thanks to Dodgers starter Julio Urias and a scuffling orange and black batting order. Los Angeles’ 20-year old phenom took advantage of a pair of double plays to post five shutout innings before relenting in the sixth.
Ahead 1-0, Urias put a runner on third with two outs and Buster Posey coming to the plate. Rather than challenge the former MVP, the Dodgers intentionally walked Posey and elected to face Arroyo instead. The 21-year old continued to flash his vast promise with a scorching single into center, driving in what would be the Giants’ only run of the day.
San Francisco would get two more prime opportunities. They put two runners on with only one out for Posey in the eighth, but Dodgers reliever Luis Avilan induced Posey’s second double play of the game. An inning later, Gorkys Hernandez struck out with the winning run on second base facing Kenley Jansen to send the contest to extras.
With a chance to earn a third win in four games over their fiercest rivals, the Giants instead settle for a split and begin a weekend series with the Padres on Friday at AT&T Park.