On a day after scoring eight runs on 15 hits, and 19 runs over the last three games, the Giants surging offense was brought to a screeching halt Friday evening. Scattering just five hits over eight innings, Matt Harrison (8-3) pitched a complete-game shutout for the Rangers while Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton homered to beat the Giants 5-0.
In their first meeting since Game 5 of the 2010 World Series, the Giants sent Barry Zito (5-3) to the mound to face a potent Ranger’s lineup. Coming off back-to-back wins, Zito had only given up two runs in his last 15 and a third innings.
It took only two pitches Friday evening before Zito gave up his first run as Ian Kinsler led off the game with a bomb to left field that landed 15 rows up the bleacher.
The Rangers were ahead 2-0 in the fifth when Hamilton came to the plate with one out and nobody on. With the count 1-1, Zito hung a curveball that Hamilton crushed to one of the deepest parts of the park in right center, clearing the wall beyond the 421 marker with ease. Hamilton’s home run was his 22nd, which leads the major leagues.
Along with the two home runs, the Rangers knocked out 14 hits including three doubles. One of the doubles came from the Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry, who had a career night going 5-5 with two RBI.
The Giants offense was baffled and off-balance all night. Harrison not only induced the Giants into 15 groundouts, he was sawing Giant hitters off all night as there were multiple broken bats flying across the infield and two into the stands.
With tonight's 5-0 loss, the Giants suffered their first shutout of the season. They also lost their first game at home to the Texas Rangers since June 26th, 1998, at Candlestick Park, breaking a 13-game home-winning streak.
Additionally, the fielding issues continued for the Giants as they added to their major league leading total of 55 when Joaquin Arias made a throwing error in the first inning.
Bruce Bochy acknowledged before the game that Arias was being used a lot, was tired, and could use a day off. That day off could be tomorrow as the Giants' front office wasted no time after the game making a move to allow the team to activate Pablo Sandoval from Class Triple-A Fresno for tomorrow’s game.
Sandoval, who has been rehabbing from a broken hamate bone in his wrist, slammed two home runs in Friday night’s game in Fresno, making the decision pretty easy for the Giants front office.
To make room for Sandoval, Brett Pill was optioned back to Fresno.
The Giants send Ryan Vogelsong (4-2) to the mound tomorrow afternoon against Scott Feldman (0-4), as the Giants try and even the three-game series at one a piece, game time is 1:05 p.m.