San Francisco Giants sink below .500 in another sloppy game for defense

Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

DENVER -- The San Francisco Giants hit three home runs and had a starting pitcher go deep enough to qualify for a win for the second time this season, but their early success wasn't enough to overcome another night of sloppy mistakes that have begun to define their defense.

Chadwick Tromp, Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson each hit home runs to help the Giants jump out to a 4-1 lead by the top of the fifth, but the game unraveled for San Francisco in the sixth after starter Johnny Cueto gave a up a two-run home run to Rockies star Nolan Arenado.

Instead of opening a challenging 10-game road trip with a tone-setting victory at Coors Field, the Giants allowed five runs in the sixth inning in a 7-6 defeat that marked their second consecutive late-game meltdown.

The Giants rallied for two runs in the ninth-inning against Rockies closer Jairo Diaz, but with the game-tying run on third base, Dickerson flew out to left field to end the game.

Dickerson recorded a pair of hits including a 111.6 mile per hour single that became the hardest-hit ball by a Giants player this season, but he also made two defensive miscues that contributed to the Rockies' sixth inning rally.

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Dickerson made his second career start in right field Monday as manager Gabe Kapler wanted his better corner defender, Steven Duggar, to play left field because it traditionally presents more of a challenge at Coors Field.

Duggar had a relatively easy night in his first-ever game in left field, but in the bottom of the sixth, Dickerson couldn't corral a long flyball at the warning track in right center field that was ultimately ruled a triple for Rockies second baseman Ryan McMahon.

McMahon ended up scoring the game-tying run on a Matt Kemp RBI single before Kemp and left fielder Chris Owings scored when Dickerson missed a cut-off man on a single from center fielder David Dahl.

Cueto became the second Giants starter to pitch into the sixth inning this season as he followed Jeff Samardzija, who did so in Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Rangers. The 13th-year veteran fared better than his counterpart, but couldn't record an out in the sixth as he gave up a single to Charlie Blackmon before surrendering a towering home run to Arenado.


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