SAN FRANCISCO — It took a walk-off home run from Patrick Bailey in extra innings on Sunday for the Giants to salvage one win in their three-game series against their former manager’s new club.
The Giants got a masterful performance from Logan Webb, but it was almost all wasted as manager Gabe Kapler pulled his starter with two outs in the ninth inning only for Camilo Doval to allow the Rangers to tie the game and take the lead in the 10th, before Bailey blasted a two-run walk-off homer over the Chevron sign in left field.
The Giants won for only the second time in their past eight games, 3-2, snapping a four-game losing streak.
The Giants were one out away from winning in regulation when Kapler emerged from the dugout to a chorus of boos from the sunny afternoon crowd of 35,648. Those quickly turned to cheers as Webb walked off the mound and reversed to another round of voracious boos as Kapler returned to the dugout.
It was almost as if they could sense what was about to happen.
The Rangers’ tying run scored from second base on an infield single from the first batter Doval faced in the ninth inning and, after San Francisco came up empty again in the bottom half, plated the go-ahead run on a balk from Doval in the top of the 10th.
In the ninth, Rangers right fielder J.P. Martinez lined Webb’s 107th pitch of the game into right-center field and hustled into second base. Rather than give Webb another batter, Kapler turned to Doval, who induced a soft-hopper from Ezequiel Duran into the hole between shortstop and third base. Ranging to his right, Crawford gloved the ball with Martinez running aggressively to third base. Crawford could have eaten the throw and given Doval a shot at the next batter, but he instead heaved it to first, allowing Martinez to round third and score standing up.
Webb delivered with 8⅔ shutout innings, outdueling Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning, but once again received little support.
Before Bailey’s blast, Michael Conforto provided the Giants’ only offense with a solo shot in the second inning. It was his second in as many games, giving him as many homers in the past two games as he had in the previous two months. Adding a single in the fourth, Conforto recorded consecutive multi-hit games for the third time this season — and the first time since the final two games of May.
For the 21st time in his past 34 starts, the Giants failed to provide Webb more than two runs before he exited the game.
After starting a 1-4-3 double play to get out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth, Webb retired 15 of the final 18 Rangers he faced.
His second-inning shot to straightaway center was all the Giants could muster against Dunning, who sliced through San Francisco’s faltering lineup like butter.
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Dunning, averaging only 6.34 K/9 entering Sunday, fanned a career-high 12 Giants, including three straight to end their best scoring chance besides Conforto’s home run.
After Bailey led off the fourth with a poke into left field, Conforto laced a sharply hit grounder under the glove of first baseman Nathaniel Lowe for his second hit of the game, giving the Giants runners at the corners with nobody out. But J.D. Davis proceeded to swing at two pitches out of the strike zone and then watched strike three down the middle, and Blake Sabol and Heliot Ramos followed with two more strikeouts.
Stealing a win Sunday was all the more important given the Giants’ recent struggles and the difficult road ahead.
The Tampa Bay Rays (71-49) visit Oracle Park for three games beginning Monday, then the Giants make their final trip to the Eastern time zone for a series against the MLB-best Atlanta Braves (75-41) and a critical wild-card showdown with the Philadelphia Phillies (65-53). They won’t get a respite from teams in playoff contention until they host the Rockies beginning Sept. 8.