San Francisco Giants snap three-game skid behind Chris Stratton

Chris Stratton won his third straight start as the San Francisco Giants snapped a three-game losing streak, pulling out a tight one at Wrigley Field and beating the Chicago Cubs 5-4. He almost didn’t make it out of the second.

That second inning could have been catastrophic for Stratton, who faced a bases-loaded situation with no outs. He got the out at the plate on a Javier Baez comebacker, and though he walked in the game’s first run by giving a free pass to Jason Heyward, Cubs starter Jose Quintana grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Quintana continued his struggles on the mound, failing to make it out of a fateful fifth inning in which San Francisco took the lead for good.

After San Francisco tied the game at 2-2 in fourth on an opposite-field Brandon Crawford home run, Chicago (26-22) took the lead in the bottom of the frame on Baez’s 12th homer of the year.

The Giants tied the game at 3-3 on back-to-back doubles by Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew McCutchen in the fifth, and after Quintana was pulled, took the lead on Brandon Belt’s single off of reliever Steve Cishek.

Cishek, who replaced Quintana, went two innings, but gave up a key insurance run in the seventh. He allowed a bunt single to Hernandez and a hit to Evan Longoria, and Belt knocked in the run on a sac fly against Justin Wilson. San Francisco (25-27) got a perfect sixth inning from Reyes Moronta and a scoreless seventh from Sam Dyson, but the Cubs got one back in the eighth against Tony Watson on a Kyle Schwarber double and Anthony Rizzo RBI single. Watson got Willson Contreras to bounce into a double play to end the inning.

The Giants rallied for insurance in the top of the ninth but were stopped short by Pedro Strop. After a Gregor Blanco walk, Hernandez bounced into a double play, but a McCutchen single, Longoria double and Belt intentional walk loaded the bases. Strop struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Gomez to end the threat. Hunter Strickland pitched a perfect ninth for his tenth save of the year.

Stratton allowed three runs over five innings, striking out six while allowing four hits and three walks. All of the walks came in the second inning. Quintana’s ERA sits at 4.78 after he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out six but allowing a quintet of hits and a pair of walks.

Ethan Kassel

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