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San Francisco Giants lose fifth game in last six, fall to Mets

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Chris Stratton, seen here on April 20, had his best career game on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Having already been swept by the Cincinnati Reds on their current road trip, the San Francisco Giants can hardly afford any more losses to sub-.500 teams if they want to make up ground in the playoff race. They did themselves no favors on Tuesday night, allowing four runs in the eighth inning for a 6-3 loss to the New York Mets.

As reliable as he’s been most of the year, left-handed reliever Tony Watson couldn’t get the job done in Queens this time around. Jose Reyes, batting just .199, led off a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a triple, and though Watson would get a shallow flyout from Todd Frazier and strike out Amed Rosario, rookie Jeff McNeil — one of the few bright spots in the Mets lineup — delivered a go-ahead two-out double.

Had the Giants stayed within a run, they would’ve had a shot to come back in the ninth, but an intentional walk to Wilmer Flores backfired as Michael Conforto would win the left-on-left matchup with Watson, delivering a three-run opposite-field homer.

San Francisco (62-65) would get a run back in the ninth when Jose Bautista dropped a ball hit by Austin Slater for a single, but with the tying run on deck, Hunter Pence would ground out to end the game.

The Giants got out to a 2-0 lead three batters into the game, when Evan Longoria delivered a two-run homer off Steven Matz — San Francisco’s first longball since last Wednesday in Los Angeles. Matz was excellent after that, allowing just one more hit over his five innings. Corey Oswalt would pitch the next three innings for New York (55-70), and would keep the Mets within striking distance as Reyes made a diving catch on a Gorkys Hernandez liner to end the top of the seventh with a runner on third.

The hosts would finally draw even with two runs in the bottom of the seventh against Chris Stratton, who had performed admirably in his spot start until that point. A McNeil single and Flores double would get the Mets rolling to open the seventh, and a Conforto sac fly and Austin Jackson single tied the game and ended Stratton’s night. The right-hander struck out four and did not issue a walk over his 6 1/3 innings, and the three hits he allowed in the seventh doubled the Mets’ total for the night.

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