What projected as a good starter battle became all about the offense before a bullpen contest emerged.
The Giants’ offense disappeared, and their reliever hiccups emerged once again.
The Giants dropped a never-ending battle with the Phillies, 13-6, on Saturday in front of 16,774 at Oracle Park to snap a five-game winning streak. Alex Wood struggled again with command, and Jarlin Garcia, Zack Littell and Conner Menez blinked in the mid-innings. The touchdown, extra point and two field goals San Francisco let up was the most it has surrendered this season, and the Phillies finished with 16 hits.
The game lasted 3 hours and 47 minutes and included a few-minute-long pause in the eighth inning when Philadelphia’s Archie Bradley wanted the grounds crew to work on the mound, and the rakes and maintenance folk were nowhere to be found, which might have been symbolic.
The loss drops the Giants (45-26) to two games up on the Dodgers and 5.5 above the Padres before either NL West rival had played. It was just their third defeat in their last 10 and sets up a Sunday rubber game.
Wood and Aaron Nola offered plenty of potential but also offered plenty of hits and runs. The Giants and Phillies traded the lead through each of the first five frames of the game before it was 6-6 entering the fourth. The Giants’ offense took a break while the Phillies’ got louder.
The tie was snapped in the sixth, when first little Ronald Torreyes, generously listed as 5-feet-8, homered off Garcia, before Rhys Hoskins doubled in a run off Littell, who has struggled of late.
Hoskins has not. The Sacramento State product, playing in front of an obvious hometown crowd, finished with a career-high six RBIs, which matched the Giants’ total. Hoskins’ second homer of the day, off a nosediving Menez, knocked in three and put an end to the drama.
After Menez posted 11 straight scoreless innings to start his campaign, he now has allowed 10 runs total (six earned) in two outings.
The Giants, who wore San Francisco Sea Lions uniforms to salute the West Coast Negro Baseball Association team on Juneteenth, have scored 43 runs in their past five games, but they couldn’t manage another after the third inning. The unit had one hit from the fourth through eighth, and it was erased by a double play.
They scored six in the first three innings, including home runs from Mike Yastrzemski (his eighth) and Brandon Belt (who is on fire and whose Splash Hit was his 10th of his career; only Barry Bonds, with 35, also has double-digit).
LaMonte Wade Jr. had a big day with a pair of hits, including a two-run double, but they could not make up for Wood’s struggles and the bullpen letdown.
For the third time in four starts, Wood did not have a lot.
From the very start he was a mess, throwing a 35-pitch, 16-strike first inning that somehow he escaped with only one run allowed. He was knocked around for two more innings before he exited after three innings and six runs allowed. TV cameras appeared to show him and Gabe Kapler talking animatedly, Wood lobbying to come out for the fourth, but he was ineffective through 75 pitches.
Wood’s ERA after his May 21 start was 1.93, and it is now inflated to 4.09. He couldn’t find command of his three pitches, appeared to struggle to get a proper grip and seemed to fight with both himself and home-plate umpire Dan Merzel. Wood walked two, allowed six hits, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches.
He might not have been more frustrated than in the second, when Odubel Herrera made it to first because of a poor throw from Donovan Solano. Hoskins then crushed his first dinger, which went 435 feet, on a 2-0 pitch; the previous offering appeared to be a strike, and Wood looked bothered.
The best-in-baseball Giants won’t be too bothered, but concerns have arisen in both their rotation and bullpen.