09/13/09 2:15 AM ET
Giants dealt blow by NL West leaders
First-place Dodgers take second straight at AT&T Park
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"We're still close to Colorado," said Sandoval, whose .322 batting average is at its lowest since July 23 (.321).The Giants might have created some magical moments had they played competently. Unlike Friday's audience, which was relatively subdued from the outset, the pro-Giants patrons in the paid crowd of 41,710 came ready to celebrate the Giants. They broke into several "Beat L.A." chants in the early innings, even when the Giants trailed, 5-1, and yelled wildly when San Francisco scored its lone run -- on Los Angeles pitcher Vicente Padilla's throwing error, without benefit of a hit. But Giants fans not only silenced themselves as Los Angeles' lead grew, they also departed almost en masse, to the extent that the majority of fans remaining in the stands at the end of the game were clad in Dodger blue. "We're excited to be out there," said left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (6-12), who yielded five runs in 4 1/3 innings. "But nothing's working right now." That's right, nothing. Home-field advantage? Forget it. The Giants have matched a season high by losing four games in a row on this homestand. They've also dropped five out of six overall. Luck? No way. As part of their Fiesta Gigantes promotion for fans, the Giants donned their "Gigantes" jerseys. They were 7-1 when wearing that garb, including 7-0 at home. Now, make that 7-2 and 7-1. Proper execution? Forget it. Giants pitchers issued five leadoff walks. Four of those runners scored. With the score tied at 1 through three innings, Los Angeles pulled away by scoring in each of the next four. Russell Martin's three-run homer, a drive inside the left-field foul pole on Sanchez's 3-1 pitch, broke the deadlock in the fourth. By the time it was over, the Giants had dropped their second consecutive game by a margin of five or more runs for only the third time this season. This hadn't happened since July 20-21 at Atlanta, where San Francisco lost, 11-3 and 8-1. "Sure, I'm surprised," Bochy said when asked if he considered the lopsided scores unexpected. "We've been playing good ball, staying in games, and we let these two get out of hand. I can't remember when we had back-to-back games like that."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.