In a half-filled AT&T Park, the Giants offensive effort was equally as uninspiring as the fan turnout in late-September.
Mustering only two hits in the first seven innings of play, the Giants (73-86) fell to the visiting San Diego Padres (64-95), 3-2, Wednesday night.
For most of the evening, San Francisco bats were freezing cold. Through the first six innings of play, the Giants were held to one hit by a platoon of Padres pitchers, led by starter Luis Perdomo.
Through three innings, Perdomo had Giants batters scratching their head as 74 percent (32-of-43) of the third-year pitcher’s tosses came as strikes. Perdomo hung four strikeouts on Giants hitters during his short-lived time on the mound.
While San Francisco went back to the drawing boards in the early stages of the game, the Padres got on the board as third baseman Wil Myers scored shortstop Freddy Galvis on a sacrifice fly in the top of the third.
Kelly reflected on what may have drawn the balk call:
“I think when I shook my head I kind of moved my hands up. I think that’s what they called and once you get to that point, there’s really no going back so there’s no sense in arguing.”
Jankowski wasn’t done, however, adding a homer (4) off Kelly (L, 0-3, 3.04 ERA) in the seventh inning. Jankowski’s bomb comes as the third homer hit off of Kelly, who had appeared in seven games for San Francisco in 2018, three of which starts.
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Giants got their first hit of the evening. On a 2-1 count, San Francisco catcher Aramis Garcia (4) got a slider down the middle of the plate against Padres reliever Miguel Díaz (W, 1-0, 4.58 ERA).
With second baseman Joe Panik on base, Garcia was able to drive in two runs to close the close the deficit to one.
After Garcia’s 382-foot shot, though, the Giants bats found a three more hits but were ultimately unable to close the gap completely.
One of the three came from 23-year-old shortstop Abiatal Avelino who was acquired from the Yankees in late August in the Andrew McCutchen trade.
Abiatal also slapped a single in the third inning for the Giants first hit of the day, also marking the first hit of his career.
Said Avelino regarding his first major league hit via improvised translator Gorkys Hernández:
“It felt amazing. I was really happy. I said, ‘finally, I got a hit.’ Then I felt really comfortable at the plate.”
Unable to cash in on the late hitting, the Giants would wind up losing to San Diego, 3-2 for their 86th loss of a forgettable 2018 campaign.
The San Francisco Giants will set their sights on the last series of the 2018 season as they take on the rivaling Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series beginning on Thursday.
The Dodgers, who are in the midst of a pennant race with the Colorado Rockies, trail by half-game in the NL West standings. While San Francisco has been eliminated from playoff contention for some time, they will have the chance to play spoiler as the Dodgers look to avoid a single-elimination wild card game.