Bullpen lets Giants down in defeat
Rally to tie wasted as relievers allow seven runs in two innings
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tyler Walker sat slumped in the chair in front of his locker, a sullen, faraway look in his eyes. He couldn't find the words to describe the empty feeling of watching his best pitches finding their way into open fields."I'm pretty much at a loss right now," Walker said. "They got the bat on the ball just softly enough to get it through. I have no answer to what happened today. I was getting chinked to death on balls just falling in."
Walker was one pitch away from getting out of trouble. Nick Swisher didn't cooperate. Instead he cleared the bases with a perfectly placed double down the left-field line, and the San Francisco Giants dropped their fifth straight, losing, 13-8, to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.Randy Winn tripled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Ray Durham had three hits and drove in two runs, ending the homestand hitting .476 (10-for-21), and Jose Castillo had two hits and drove in two runs, all of which went for naught. What began as a promising homestand ended in futility as the White Sox completed the Interleague Series sweep. "Walker had horrible luck," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I don't think there was a ball hit hard against him, and he gives up three runs. These games haven't been pretty, and we're losing ballgames but these guys are trying. Today was indicative of that. We tied the game, fell behind again and rallied again." The two teams combined to score 18 runs from the sixth inning on, with Walker (1-2) getting the worst of it. He lost in his second straight appearance after giving up consecutive singles to Paul Konerko, Joe Crede and Alexei Ramirez ahead of Swisher's double. "Crede hit a good pitch; Ramirez was a good pitch. Swisher hit it out there; I don't think he could throw the ball any better," Walker said. "It's extremely frustrating. The offense stepped up, and we didn't close the doors. My last two outings have been atrocious." Bochy said he planned to talk to the team en route to Colorado, where it opens a nine-game road trip on Monday night. He wasn't going to rant; he merely wants to keep things in perspective. "These are tough times around here, and we have to keep grinding," Bochy said. "This was a tough homestand, and nothing matters until we go out there and play winning baseball. We haven't done that this last week." The Giants ended April with a somewhat promising 13-16 record. They're 4-12 since. "The only thing you can do is keep moving forward," Bochy said. "What's going to be important is how we come out of this, how we handle things. We think we're better than what our record shows. We are the ones who can change this, turn it around." Matt Cain took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was clinging to a one-run lead after five innings. A career-high-matching four home runs later, and Cain was watching the rest of the game from the bench. "The pitches felt good, but they ended up getting enough wood on them to get it out," Cain said. "The [homer] to Crede, the ball came back over the plate. [Carlos] Quentin just beat me on it. He did a good job to get the barrel of the bat on the ball. The other two [homers] ... I don't know." Cain allowed six runs on six hits, walked three and struck out six in seven innings. "I don't ever want to talk about negative things. I'm trying to stay confident and will keep trying to throw quality strikes," Cain said. "This game is super humbling. You're pitching great for an inning or two and then it all blows up on you. There's nothing worse than seeing our guys scoring runs and us not getting the shutdown innings." The Giants mounted a pair of comebacks. After falling behind 6-3, Bengie Molina hit a two-run double and Jose Castillo drove in a run with a single to tie it at 6 after seven innings. After Swisher gave the White Sox another three-run lead in the eighth, Castillo and Durham drove in runs after Octavio Dotel walked the bases loaded to pull within 9-8. Giants closer Brian Wilson also had trouble on the mound, giving up four ninth-inning runs for the final margin.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.