SAN FRANCISCO — For two hours, it looked like the Giants were headed for a big win in their return home and Dereck Rodriguez had another signature moment for his Rookie of the Year case. That all changed in the ninth inning.
Will Smith walked a pair and then gave up a three-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez with two outs in the ninth. The Giants lost 3-1 to the Astros, who came here without their three best hitters and looked lifeless much of the night. The blown save was Smith's first since he became the closer.
This one stung. Rodriguez threw seven shutout innings, edging Charlie Morton, one of the best in the American League. It didn't ultimately matter. Here's what you need to know...
--- Rodriguez has allowed just four runs in four starts since the All-Star break. He gave up three hits, walked none, and struck out seven. His ERA is down to 2.34.
--- Morton was dominant, allowing just three hits in seven innings, but Brandon Crawford got to him in the sixth. Crawford jumped on a 2-2 curveball that was down and in, pulling it into the arcade to give Rodriguez his lead.
--- As so often happens, the Giants didn’t have a hit through three innings. It’s hard to really blame them this time. Morton was playing wiffle ball out there at times. Evan Longoria’s broken-bat bloop to right with two outs in the fourth was the first hit of the night.
--- Steven Duggar went into Triples Alley to rob Jake Marisnick of extra bases and end the fifth inning. The play had a catch probability of 37 percent, making it the fourth-toughest catch of the season for a Giants outfielder. In 21 games, Duggar has four of the top 10 for Giants outfielders. He has made two catches with a probability of under 40 percent in the past three games.