Giants observations: Costly error, quiet offense dooms loss to Royals
What we learned as costly error, quiet bats doom Giants vs. KC originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants could not have asked for too much more from the longest homestand of the season, but when you have a chance for a sweep you like to get greedy. They weren’t able to wrap it up Wednesday.
The offense went silent in a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals that snapped a five-game winning streak. The Giants ended up going 6-3 on the homestand against the Royals, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
This has generally been a close series and the teams were tied through seven, with the Giants wasting a leadoff double in the bottom of that inning. In the top of the eighth, pinch-hitter Andrew Benintendi hit his own leadoff double. A bunt and sacrifice fly brought him home for what proved to be the winning run.
Sam Long made his 10th career start and fifth this season, and this was another good performance. Long allowed two runs in three innings but they were unearned. With two on and two outs in the first, Brandon Crawford couldn’t handle a routine grounder and both runs scored.
Long has not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances, a stretch that goes back to the start of May. He has lowered his ERA to 1.69 and continues to be a weapon as the “bulk innings” guy in bullpen games, although that may not be needed in a few days. The Giants could get Alex Cobb back on Sunday and Anthony DeSclafani is eligible to return next week.
Thairo Estrada drew a walk, went to second on Crawford’s flare to left that landed between two Royals battling the sun, and took third on Tommy La Stella’s deep fly ball. Curt Casali followed with another deep fly to center and Estrada raced home to score easily.
The sacrifice fly was the 26th of the season for the Giants, which leads the Majors. The Red Sox and Mets each have 25.
When he took the field in the first, Crawford reached 1,500 career games with the Giants. He’s just the fifth player in the franchise’s San Francisco-era to hit that mark, joining Willie McCovey (2,256), Willie Mays (2,095), Barry Bonds (1,976) and Jim Davenport (1,501).
That’s a very, very impressive list to be on, and it’s a cool one for a guy who grew up in the Bay Area dreaming of playing for the Giants. Belt is the only one even close to Crawford on the active roster, but with 1,260 appearances, he has a long way to go to reach 1,500.