SAN FRANCISCO -- So, uhhh, when do the Colorado Rockies come back to town?
The Giants had another remarkably quiet offensive performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers, losing 6-3 to fall into a tie for second place with their longtime rivals. Both teams (28-18) currently trail the San Diego Padres (28-17) by half a game in the NL West standings.
This one never even felt as close as the final score might indicate. For a second straight game the Dodgers got a dominant performance from one of their stable of aces, and this time they got to Giants pitching, too. Scott Kazmir was just fine in his Giants debut, but he came in with a low pitch count and the Dodgers piled on against a Giants bullpen that has quite a few question marks.
The Dodgers took a 4-0 lead into the seventh, but the Giants got a run back and brought the tying run to the plate with one out. That's when Walker Buehler really hunkered down, striking out Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf to become the first pitcher to complete seven innings against the Giants this season.
Down the coast, the Dodgers have had plenty of their own bullpen issues, but the Giants weren't able to keep the Oracle Park crowd in the game and try to take advantage of Buehler's successors. Jose Alvarez entered in the eighth and gave two runs back in a frame that started with an errors in center by Steven Duggar and included a squeeze and an RBI single by Albert Pujols.
Buster Posey hit his ninth homer in the bottom of the eighth, but Kenley Jansen had a 1-2-3 ninth.
Here are three more things to know from the Giants' second loss in as many days.
Making his first appearance since Sept. 23, 2016 -- when he was part of a Dodgers lineup that included Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez -- Kazmir gave the Giants more than they could have reasonably asked for.
The 37-year-old lefty allowed just two hits in his return to the big leagues, both to Max Muncy, who put the only run on his line with a solo homer into the body of water known as a cove. Kazmir threw 55 pitches a few hours after getting called up from Triple-A, striking out a pair and walking none.
The performance was nearly all finesse, although Kazmir did top out at 93.6 mph. His fastball averaged 91.8 mph and he got just two swings and misses, but he got seven of his 12 outs on the ground, including a double play from Pujols to end the fourth.
A Second Debut
With Logan Webb and Aaron Sanchez on the IL and Tyler Beede not yet eligible to return to the active roster, the Giants came down to two choices for this game: Kazmir or right-hander Nick Tropeano. Both ended up pitching.
Tropeano took over in the fifth and pitched two innings, allowing a pair of runs -- only one of which was earned. He struck out one, walked one and allowed three hits.
Soft, Soft Contact
The Giants had just two hits off Trevor Bauer and two relievers on Friday, and those had a combined hit percentage of seven percent. They had just as much trouble with Buehler a day later. Five of the six hits off him were singles, including an infield hit and a bunt. Only one of the five was hit more than 85 mph.
The only real hard contact in 13 1/3 innings against Buehler and Bauer was Brandon Crawford's double to lead off the seventh Saturday. He came about two feet away from hitting his 12th homer of the season.