SF Giants settle for split with Diamondbacks after bats go quiet in finale

Evan Webeck, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO — As an encore to one of their most complete offensive performances of the season, the Giants laid a dud Sunday.

A day after breaking out for a season-high 16 hits and a win, it took the Giants until the fifth inning to record their first against Diamondbacks starter Slade Cecconi, who helped hand them a 5-3 loss to split the four-game series between the National League West foes.

Manager Bob Melvin and third base coach Matt Williams were forced to watch the final two innings from the clubhouse after being ejected arguing with home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.

“Wasn’t really what we were looking to do,” said Mike Yastrzemski, whose two-run home run in the fifth inning amounted to the Giants’ lone offense until Matt Chapman and Thairo Estrada manufactured a run with a pair of doubles against Diamondbacks closer Kevin Ginkel in the ninth.

San Francisco fell to 3-8 when scoring three or fewer.

Plagued by inconsistency through the first three weeks of the season, the Giants are undefeated when scoring at least five runs, as they did in Saturday’s 7-3 win, but they have reached that total only six times in 23 games, fewer than all but three teams (A’s, White Sox, Twins).


“We also put some pressure on them and had some opportunities today,” Melvin said. “We just didn’t get the big hit.”

Only learning the opposing starter shortly before first pitch, the Giants should have caught a break when they learned it would be the rookie right-hander starting the series finale and not Merrill Kelly. Their longtime nemesis was scratched with shoulder soreness, so Cecconi was called up from Triple-A.

With hardly any experience against the spot starter — eight plate appearances among four players — the Giants took an aggressive plan of attack. They were seeking to jump on first-pitch fastballs, a pitch they have laid off of this season, but Melvin said, “just didn’t do anything with it early.”

Retiring them in order his first time through the lineup, Cecconi needed only 23 pitches to complete his first three innings and didn’t require more than 11 in an inning until the Giants broke through in the fifth.


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