The San Francisco Giants thought they hit rock bottom on Tuesday night, when the Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey twirled his second career no-hitter.
Looking to climb out of their slump, they fell a little deeper, losing 3-2 on a walk-off single by Shin-Soo Choo in the 11th inning. Their stay in the NL West cellar prolonged too.
San Francisco has now lost nine of their last 10 games, 11 of their last 13 and 14 of their last 18. You get the point.
Barry Zito kept the Giants close over his mere four innings of work, which included one run on seven hits. After he allowed singles to Choo and Zack Cozart to open the fifth, Bruce Bochy replaced him with Jose Mijares. Mijares teamed up with George Kontos to strike out the side with runners on first and second.
Kontos’ flash of brilliance in the fifth quickly faded in the sixth. He coughed up the Giants’ 2-1 lead, allowing Chris Heisey’s solo shot to tie the game 2-2.
San Francisco’s scoring opportunities were scarce in the early going, but Tony Abreu’s two-run shot provided the difference.
The Giants collected five hits over 11 innings. From the seventh inning on, Joaquin Arias’ double in the 11th inning marked their only hit. It was wasted, too. J.J. Hoover struck out Juan Perez and Abreu to strand Arias on second base.
San Francisco was practically handed a run or two in the eighth inning.
Alfredo Simon retired Buster Posey and Hunter Pence, but Pablo Sandoval reached after swinging at a curveball that sliced between his legs. To add injury to insult, he was pegged trotting down to first base.
Simon’s second wild pitch of the inning allowed Sandoval to advanced to second, before Brandon Belt walked and Hector Sanchez absorbed Simon’s 94 MPH fastball on the hip. With the bases-loaded, Arias, pinch-hitting for the struggling Brandon Crawford, flew out to Jay Bruce.
Those missed opportunities left the window wide open for the Reds, and the didn’t balk at the opportunity. Javier Lopez, who pitched a scoreless 10th inning, elevated a sinker to Choo, and he whacked it down the right field line to send Great American Park into a frenzy.
Entering the game, Choo had a .152 average against lefties in 2013, and Javier Lopez held lefties to a .174 clip. Something had to give, and it did.
Lopez didn’t help his cause by issuing a lead off walk to Todd Frazier, who eventually scored the winning run. Fraizer advanced to second base on Heisey’s sacrifice bunt. After walking Devin Mesoraco and getting Ryan Hanigan to fly out, Choo lined a ball vastly out of Hunter Pence’s reach.
The Reds celebrated, and the Giants were once again left to sulk.