Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Rangers 2
June, 9, 2012
By Bryan Dolgin | ESPNDallas.com
How it happened: After starting pitching headlined in Game 1 for the Texas Rangers during thos three-game series in San Francisco, fielding came into focus with three errors for the visitors Saturday.
Hard-luck starter Scott Feldman and the Rangers fell 5-2 to the Giants.
Miscues once more haunted Feldman. In his starts on May 14 and May 29, third baseman Adrian Beltre made errors that led to runs. On Saturday afternoon, Ian Kinsler committed his seventh error of the season in the third. After picking up Ryan Theriot's grounder to second, Kinsler went to tag baserunner Gregor Blanco, who was running from first base to second. But Blanco stopped in his tracks to avoid the tag, forcing Kinsler to throw wild to first base. Ryan Vogelsong scored on that play and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.
The fifth inning began with left fielder Josh Hamilton battling the sun and not being able to catch Brandon Crawford's fly ball. That was Hamilton's third error of the season. Two outs later, Theriot singled to right field for a 2-0 Giants lead.
A failed pickoff attempt by Koji Uehara in the seventh inning moved Blanco from first to third. One out later, Pablo Sandoval drove in Blanco with a single for a 4-0 Giants lead.
A Giant step: Feldman did not make it past 1 2/3 innings in his last start, which was across the Bay in Oakland. Feldman, who grew up a Giants fan in nearby Burlingame, Calif., made it through five innings for the first time in six starts this season. He walked one, gave up four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings against the Giants.
Inherited runner gets best of Ross: Rangers left-handed reliever Robbie Ross inherited a runner when he entered the game in relief of Feldman. Ross retired the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning, but then Nate Schierholtz tagged him for an RBI triple. Ross has allowed just three of 20 inherited runners to score against him this season, and he holds the lowest percentage among Rangers relievers at 15 percent.
Stranded Rangers: The Rangers left 13 on base in Friday night's win against the Giants, and they continued that trend in Saturday's loss. In each of the first two innings, the Rangers left two on base. Michael Young grounded into a fielders' choice for the final out of the first, and Ian Kinsler grounded out to third base to end the second. After getting two hits in the first inning, the Rangers did not manage another until the eighth.
Splash landing: Mitch Moreland had a pinch-hit lead-off home run in the eighth that landed in McCovey Cove. It was Moreland's ninth home run and 21st RBI. It was also the 25th splash landing for an opponent at the ballpark. The Rangers have four pinch-hit home runs this season. That was the third and final hit allowed by Ryan Vogelsong who pitched 7 2/3 innings.
Road weary: Hamilton has not had a good road trip. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and double Saturday. For the trip, he is 6-for-37 (.162).
Cruz leaves game: Right fielder Nelson Cruz left before the bottom of the eighth inning. David Murphy replaced Cruz in the field and took his spot in the lineup.
Facing a righty: When there is a right-handed opposing pitcher, left-handed hitting David Murphy starts in left field and Josh Hamilton plays center field. On Saturday, right-handed hitting Craig Gentry started against right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Gentry entered this game with as a .289 hitter (.710 OPS) against righties. Gentry was 0-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Worlds apart: The first two starting pitchers of this series were not on the Rangers' World Series roster in 2010 when the Rangers faced the Giants. Matt Harrison and Feldman did pitch for the Rangers in that regular season.