After 11 innings of relative silence on offense, one swing sent the San Francisco Giants back to their Cincinnati hotel with a second consecutive walk-off loss.
Youngster Phillip Ervin’s second homer of the season gave the host Reds a 2-1, 11-inning win over the Giants, putting San Francisco once again below .500 after struggling offensively all night.
Aside from one inning in Los Angeles, the first four games of this road trip have been poor for the Giants offense, and that continued on Friday in the Queen City. Andrew McCutchen’s third-inning RBI single was the only run San Francisco (61-62) would muster against Anthony DeSclafani, who allowed just that one run over 7 2/3 innings. Over those eight frames, the Giants would notch just six hits, and the only one that went for extra bases was Steven Duggar’s double to lead off that third inning. Duggar would score the team’s lone run on McCutchen’s single. While Cincinnati (53-69) repeatedly squandered chances before walking things off in the 11th, the Giants had few opportunities to speak of.
The Reds scored off spot starter Casey Kelly — starting in place of the injured Dereck Rodriguez — in the second. Curt Casali’s RBI single was the only run the Reds would get against the right-handed son of Cincinnati bench coach Pat Kelly, despite collecting nine hits and a walk in just 4 1/3 innings. Two outs on the base paths helped Kelly get by, and Cincinnati left a pair of runners aboard in both the first and third innings.
In the eighth, after Alen Hanson struck out but reached on a wild pitch for the second time this season, DeSclafani left with runners on the corners and two outs. Reliever Jared Hughes was called on to face Buster Posey, and the San Francisco catcher grounded into a force out to end the inning.
Though Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson would keep the game level, the Giants could never reward their bullpen with a lead. The only serious chance that came against the Cincinnati bullpen would be in the tenth. Raisel Iglesias struck out the side, but would allow a leadoff single to Joe Panik and a two-out hit to McCutchen to put men on the corners for Hanson, who struck out to end the inning.
Sacramento native David Hernandez pitched a perfect 11th with a pair of strikeouts, and he was rewarded with the win after Ervin homered off Ray Black to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Black struck out the side in the tenth, but he would not record an out in his second frame.