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Giants fall to A’s, 2-1

Ross Stripling and Paul Blackburn had a pitcher’s duel, but in the end the A’s were able to capitalize on base runners in a way the Giants just couldn’t.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants fell to the Oakland Athletics today 2-1.

It was a pitcher’s duel for most of the game, with starting pitchers Ross Stripling and Antioch’s own Paul Blackburn each having one of their best starts of the season. Blackburn allowed just two hits, walking three and striking out seven over six innings. Stripling allowed just one run, a solo home run to Jordan Diaz to lead off the bottom of the fifth. He would allow just three hits, striking out seven in five and a third innings.

The Giants, despite getting five walks throughout the game, were not able to do anything with them until the eighth inning. Thairo Estrada walked with one out, before Wilmer Flores hit a single to a gap in left field. Estrada never slowed down, rounding second and taking third. This allowed Joc Pederson to hit a sac fly to center field to score Estrada, whose baserunning made all the difference in the Giants getting on the board at all today.

Sean Manaea entered in the sixth and pitched one and two thirds innings, allowing just a hit, before being pulled for Ryan Walker in the bottom of the eighth. Aledmys Diaz singled to lead off the inning, and Tony Kemp walked after being down 0-2 in the count to start off.

Then some weird shenanigans ensued, going the Giants way. To the best of my understanding of what I saw, with Esteury Ruiz batting, it looked like a pitch was called a ball and Diaz advanced to third. But then the A’s challenged, saying Ruiz was hit by a pitch. It was then ruled a foul ball instead, sending Diaz back to second. Ruiz then hit a pop up bunt which saw J.D. Davis flying in like Superman to get the out at first, with both Diaz and Kemp advancing.

At this point, Scott Alexander entered to relieve Walker, getting Jonah Bride to line out before intentionally walking Zack Gelof to load the bases. If you were groaning at that, you were not alone and not wrong to, as Seth Brown immediately hit a single to right field, allowing Diaz to score. Kemp was right behind him and after a bit of a dustup at the plate and an umpire review, he was out. But the damage was done and the A’s had their second run of the night.

The Giants went down in order in the ninth, continuing their ice cold offense of the day. It took all hands on deck and excellent base running from Estrada to get their only run, a feat they could not reproduce.