SAN FRANCISCO — Twice in less than 24 hours, the Giants took a 1-0 lead into the late innings against the Houston Astros. Twice, they managed to lose.
A few hours after Will Smith gave up a three-run homer in the ninth, Ray Black was hit with a two-run shot by Tyler White in the eighth. The Giants lost 2-1 to the Astros, getting swept in a two-game series in which their starting pitchers threw 14 scoreless innings. That's hard to do. Here's what you need to know ...
—- Black was given a high-leverage outing and made a mess of it. His streak of 10 1/3 hitless innings ended when Marwin Gonzalez smoked a leadoff double. Two batters later, Black threw 100 mph and 101 mph fastballs past White to get to 0-2. He elevated a 99 mph fastball and White hit a moonshot.
—- Bumgarner matched Dereck Rodriguez with seven shutout innings. The Astros made Bumgarner work out of trouble, but he always had an answer. His final pitch may have been his best. With two outs and a runner on in the seventh, Bumgarner threw a filthy two-strike curveball that Alex Bregman couldn’t hold up on.
—- After a slow July, Brandon Crawford has found something at the plate in recent days. His homer provided the only run Monday, and his double got the Giants going in the second inning a few hours later. Crawford raced home on Chase d’Arnaud’s single.
—- D’Arnaud fouled a ball off his left knee in the fourth inning and crumpled in the batter’s box. He tried to run a bit and stay in the game, but he couldn’t do it. Alen Hanson replaced d’Arnaud and finished the at-bat, striking out. By the rules of the game, that strikeout counts against d’Arnaud.
—- The Astros had two runners thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning. White hit a one-out triple and inexplicably tried to take home on a hard grounder to first. Buster Posey’s throw to the plate beat White by a mile. With two outs, Josh Reddick stole his way 90 feet from a run, but he tried to score on a wild pitch that didn’t get far from the plate. Bumgarner planted his knee in the dirt and took Nick Hundley’s throw, ending the inning.