PHOENIX (CBS/AP) — Arizona got the leadoff hitter in the ninth inning and San Francisco had an open base with Paul Goldschmidt up next.
Instead of giving the NL RBIs leader a chance to end the game, the Giants decided to intentionally walk him and take their chances with Eric Chavez.
It didn’t work.
Chavez lined the first pitch he saw from Sandy Rosario in the ninth inning for a game-ending single, sending the Giants to a 4-3 loss the Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
“They executed and we were in a tough spot,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You walk one guy to see if you can a double play ball but that ball got too much of the plate there. He (Rosario) has been throwing well.”
After Brad Ziegler (8-1) worked a perfect ninth, Willie Bloomquist opened the bottom half with a single off Rosario (3-2) for his third hit and moved up on Adam Eaton’s sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Goldschmidt, Chavez lined his single into left-center for his fifth career game-ending hit, sending the Diamondbacks rushing out of their dugout to greet him.
It was Arizona’s 12th walk-off victory this season and 29th comeback win.
“We’ve been good at it, it’s just not a fun way to play baseball,” said Chavez, who was 0-for-12 since coming off the disabled list before his game-ending hit. “We’ve played so many extra-inning games, you just don’t want to play like that. But we are good late. I don’t know what that means, but that was a good one.”
San Francisco won the series opener 1-0 and rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the middle game.
Starter Ryan Vogelsong gave the Giants a chance with six effective innings, but the bullpen, which has been stellar let it slip away.
The run off Rosario was the second allowed by San Francisco’s bullpen in 20 2-3 innings that past seven games.
Gregor Blanco hit a solo homer, his first since June 14, and Hunter Pence had three hits for the Giants.
“A hard fought game, the guys did well coming back,” Bochy said. “They got the leadoff hitter and that puts pressure on you.”
Vogelsong had been sharp since coming off the disabled list for a broken right hand, going 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA.
But the right-hander has struggled his second time through the order all season and Saturday was no different.
Vogelsong escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, but Arizona opened the fourth with three straight hits, the last a run-scoring single by Miguel Montero. Gerardo Parra followed with a sacrifice fly and Bloomquist made it 3-0 with a run-scoring single.
Opponents are hitting .349 against Vogelsong the second time through the order after the Diamondbacks went 5 for 6 with a walk and two sacrifices.
“In that one inning, I got a little loose mechanically and that had an effect on how sharp the pitches were,” said Vogelsong, who allowed three runs on nine hits. “The rest of the game wasn’t too bad.”
NOTES: Vogelsong singled in the fifth for his second hit in 24 at-bats this season. … Pence has an eight-game hitting streak. … Giants CF Angel Pagan saved a run in the seventh with a diving catch on Aaron Hill’s liner. … Arizona LHP Patrick Corbin will pitch the series finale Sunday after allowing eight earned runs in 5 1-3 innings against Philadelphia in his last start. … RHP Yusmeiro Petit will make his second start for the Giants on Sunday. He earned his first victory in the majors since 2009 by allowing two runs over six innings against Colorado in his first start this season.
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