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Bullpen runs out of gas in Arizona


Bullpen runs out of gas in Arizona
This would have been a nice day to be off.

The Giants had two off days last week and have another break Thursday, but their bullpen - especially the late-inning guys - still could use some down time. They've worked a heavy load recently, thanks to so many tight games, and finally had a breakdown Sunday.

For the first time this season, closer Brian Wilson blew a save opportunity by surrendering three runs in the ninth, two on Justin Upton's game-tying homer. The Diamondbacks won 5-4 on Conor Jackson's bases-loaded single off Justin Miller in the 12th.

The Giants' winning streak ended at five. So did their hopes for their first road sweep since June 6-9 in Washington, D.C. And their first winning record since they were 2-1.

quot;You have what you think is a game that's in the bag, and it slips away. It's disheartening,quot; Wilson said. quot;The positive thing is, we won the series. The negative thing is, it snapped a win streak.quot;

Wilson said he felt no fatigue - quot;Fatigue is not something that enters my bodyquot; - and that he'll be ready to go tonight. Both he and setup man Bobby Howry appeared Saturday and Sunday. So did lefty Jeremy Affeldt, who also pitched Friday. The past 10 days, the Giants played eight games. Affeldt pitched in seven, Wilson and Howry in six.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he'd talk with the front office about possibly adding a pitcher for the three-game Dodgers series, which begins tonight at China Basin. Barry Zito will start the opener, and Bochy said little-used reliever Merkin Valdez, whose last appearance was April 16, could be a factor.

After Sunday's loss, Bochy wasn't bummed about the bullpen as much as the offense, which could have done more with its season-high 14 hits, including a career-high four by Pablo Sandoval.

quot;Our situational hitting was off today and so was our baserunning,quot; Bochy said. quot;We had chances to put the game away.quot;

Three straight innings, from the fifth to the seventh, the Giants had runners in scoring position and no outs and failed to score. Same thing in the 12th - Juan Uribe opened with a double and was stranded. Three times including the 12th, Randy Winn had runner-on-second, no-out at-bats and failed to get an RBI.

In a change of pace, Fred Lewis doubled to open the eighth and actually scored. A three-run homer by Sandoval, who had only one RBI entering the game, gave the Giants a 4-1 lead and put Matt Cain another gem: one run, seven innings in position for his third victory.

But after Affeldt and Howry worked a scoreless eighth, Wilson gave up a double to Chad Tracy and an RBI single to Mark Reynolds. One out later, Upton lined his game-tying homer to left.

Brandon Medders was solid in the 10th and 11th. He was asked for one more inning but couldn't deliver. He walked three batters one intentionally and was replaced by Miller, who grooved a full-count fastball to Jackson that was smacked into left-center.

The Giants scored their first run on Aaron Rowand's fourth-inning single, his first RBI since April 15. Reynolds' homer in the second was the only run surrendered by Cain, whose ERA dropped to 2.08.

He was denied a win, thanks to unfinished business by the offense and bullpen. Have we heard that before?


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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