SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants’ returned home off a three-game sweep to face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Marcus Stroman. But the Giants had one of his nemeses.
Joc Pederson came into the game with a .455 average including four doubles in 11 at-bats against Stroman for his career. He added three hits to that tally on Friday, including a single that kept a rally to score their first run in the third inning. But Pederson’s mastery wasn’t enough as they fell to the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Friday night at Oracle Park.
Pederson was key in the Giants’ threat to rally back from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Brandon Crawford doubled on a drive down the right field line and advanced to third on an out, bringing Pederson up and prompting Cubs manager David Ross to pull Stroman.
Pederson’s fourth hit of the game came off reliever Mark Leiter Jr. on a dribbler that came off his bat at 63.3 mph. He was initially called out by a hair, but the call was overturned and Crawford’s scamper home made it a one-run game.
Anthony DeSclafani looked to be keeping up with Stroman, holding the Chicago Cubs to two hits over his first six innings while the Giants pinned one run on Stroman. But a trouble inning did him in.
Seiya Suzuki collected his second hit of the night — he reached base four times — to start the inning and Ian Happ walked to put the tying run in scoring position, prompting manager Gabe Kapler to take his starter out of the game. Reliever Ryan Walker couldn’t get DeSclafani off the hook, hitting Matt Mervis with a pitch to load the bases and giving up a go-ahead single to Nico Hoerner. Tucker Barnhart added another run on a single to shallow center field to give the Cubs the run that won them the game.
DeSclafani went six innings, allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
J.D. Davis was scratched from the lineup before the game with hip tightness, but pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning for Patrick Bailey. It began a one-two-three ninth inning with no comeback magic this time.