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What we learned as Giants fall to Padres, lose ground to LA

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SAN DIEGO -- The Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers look like they're going to use just about every available inning this season to decide the NL West title, and sometimes even a bit more. 

About an hour after the Dodgers won in 10 innings at Coors Field, the Giants went to extras at Petco Park. On a day when the two rivals went back-and-forth, seemingly swinging their games at the exact same times, the Giants could not keep up.

Victor Caratini's infield single brought the winning run home for the Padres in the bottom of the 10th. With the 7-6 loss, the Giants will head to Coors Field with just a one-game lead in the NL West. That's where they were when this series started, too. 

This one nearly went off the rails early, with Logan Webb getting rocked in the first and coming within one more hit of being removed from the game on a day when the Giants were short on fresh relievers. But the Giants have spent an entire season wiping out deficits, and the four-run hole was nothing to be too concerned about. 

They got two back in the second and then took the lead in the sixth on Austin Slater's three-run homer to left. The Padres rallied right back, and incredibly did so right as the Dodgers were tying their game at Coors Field in the ninth. Back-to-back homers gave the Padres a lead, but the action in San Diego and Denver wasn't done. 

 

The Giants scored a run in the seventh to once again tie it up. At the exact same time as Wilmer Flores was crossing the plate, Max Muncy hit a two-run go-ahead homer for the Dodgers. The final twist came as the bottom of the seventh was played at Petco Park. Moments after the Dodgers clinched a win, Kervin Castro got a groundball to strand two Padres runners. 

The 22-year-old was making just his fifth big league appearance, and it certainly was eye-opening. Castro came back out for the eighth and struck out the side, including Manny Machado, who swung over the top of a good curveball. Jarlin Garcia followed and got the game to extras. 

The Giants had the table set in the top of the 10th, but with two on and no outs, Brandon Belt and Kris Bryant flied out. Steven Duggar's roller to first ended the inning. A few minutes later, the game was over.

Escaping Disaster

There were probably a few Giants coaches and executives who wanted to throw up as they watched the bottom of the first inning, and not because the Padres jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Webb had absolutely no command, loading the bases with two walks and then bringing the first run across by hitting Jurickson Profar with an 0-2 slider. 

The Padres were patient, and Webb's pitch count kept rising to uncomfortable levels, particularly when you consider that he's the Giants' best young asset and had shoulder issues earlier this season. Long reliever Jose Quintana wasn't even in the bullpen when the inning started, but he jogged down during a mound meeting and was warming up as Webb tried to escape. He finally ended the inning with his 45th pitch, with just 22 of those being strikes. 

After that, Webb was Webb. He needed just 33 pitches to get through the next three innings before being replaced by pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson. Webb was charged with four earned, his second-highest total since May 5. 

In A Pinch

Slater's blast was the 17th pinch-hit homer of the season for the Giants, tying the MLB record previously set by the 2016 St. Louis Cardinals.

Slater has three of the 17, which is tied with Alex Dickerson for the team high. Brandon Belt, Flores and Donovan Solano also have a couple of pinch-hit homers this season. Flores came up with a chance to break the record in the seventh, and he lined a two-out double to right. That was followed by Tommy La Stella's game-tying double to left.

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Cut It In Half

Because of their power, the Giants are always one swing away from being back in a game, and it didn't take long for them to slice the four-run deficit in half after the rough first inning. Mike Yastrzemski jumped on a hanging slider from Yu Darvish in the top of the second and launched a two-run shot to right, his 24th of the season.

Yastrzemski hasn't been around long, but he already has serious ownage on one of the more talented right-handed pitchers of the last decade. The homer was his third in his first nine career at-bats against Darvish.

 

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