A’s avoid sweep behind Cole Irvin, Giants stay quiet in loss

SAN FRANCISCO – In Sunday’s finale of the Bay Bridge Series, the San Francisco Giants bat stayed quiet.  The Oakland Athletics pounded the Giants pitching and took down the current best team in baseball 6-2 to avoid the sweep today.

San Francisco’s lineup was slow to get anything going, they barely got three hits off of A’s starter Cole Irvin through eight innings. The Giants looked exhausted despite back-to-back wins over the last two nights.

“Cole had great command of his fastball all day,” San Francisco’s manager Gabe Kapler said. “He was putting the ball where he wanted from the beginning of the game and continued it throughout the game.”

The Giants bats came alive in the ninth inning however, scoring a pair of runs off reliever Deolis Guerra was just not enough. Guerra hit Mike Yastrzemski to open the ninth, then gave up a single to Buster Posey. Darin Ruf grounded into a double play to score Yastrzemski from third to give San Francisco their first run of the game. 

“I thought it was nice to see our guys fight at the very end,” said Kapler. “I like the way the guys fought. I thought we were better than we showed in the first couple of innings.”

Donovan Solano followed with a two-out double and Steven Duggar drove him home with a double of his own to deep center. That play knocked out Guerra and San Francisco tried to rally.

Lou Trivino replaced Guerra with two outs and struck out Brandon Crawford to end the game. 

Giants lefty Sammy Long got roughed up early and never found his command throughout the day. After getting Ramon Laureano to fly out on the opening pitch, Long allowed three straight singles, highlighted by Matt Chapman’s two-run RBI single. That gave Oakland a 2-0 lead early.  

Long opened the sixth with a hit on Chad Pinder and a free pass to Tony Kemp.  He was immediately replaced by John Brebbia. Long pitched five innings, allowed four runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Despite getting knocked around early, Long kept San Francisco in the game down 2-0 prior to three singles in the sixth. Long retired 15 of the next 19 batters he faced. 

“The first inning I left a few pitches up there when I was ahead in the count,” Long explained. “Overall just left a few good pitches over the plate for them to hit. The adjustment after that was to trust my stuff and work the zone.”

“Thought he was solid,” said Kapler. “After the first inning, I thought he got right back in the zone. His fastball didn’t have as much life as the previous outings and in the first inning he had difficulty finding his best stuff, but he got better as the game went on.”

Irvin shut down the recently hot Giants lineup down and made the most of his early run support. He pitched eight innings and tied his career-high.  Irvin is the second opposing pitcher this season to pitch eight innings against San Francisco since Joe Ross did for the Washington Nationals on June 13.

Irvin allowed three hits, eight strikeouts and walked two for the day.

The Giants walk away win the Bay Bridge series and celebrate that victory with the 35,000-plus in attendance at Oracle Park today.

“It was a good atmosphere for all three games and it seemed like the fans were just as excited to be there as we were to play in front of them,” Posey said.

The Giants head straight to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers for a two-game series. Despite Sunday’s loss, San Francisco are still own the best record in baseball at 50-27.

Anthony DeSclafani (8-2, 2.77 ERA, 80K) will take the mound for the Giants Monday night against Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.57 ERA, 129K).

Photo by SFGiants/Twitter

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