|June 18, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP K. Rueter (7-2) 5 1/3IP 6H 4R 4ER 3BB 0K 0HR 3.79 ERA
Kirk Rueter has bailed the Giants out of losing streaks in the past before, and tonight the Giants desperately look to him for a stop to not only their losing streak but to stop the Dodgers, who were only one game behind the Giants in the NL West Division.
Ishii began the game by giving up a lead off walk to Marquis Grissom. On two consecutive groundouts by Edgardo Alfonzo and Ray Durham, Grissom was able to advance to third with two outs. Barry Bonds was walked and a ground ball hit by Benito Santiago went through the legs of shortstop, Jolbert Cabrera. Grissom scored on the error. Ishii followed this with his third walk of the inning to Rich Aurilia, and with the bases loaded, the Giants were not able to capitalize when Pedro Feliz struck out to end the inning.
Rueter was cruising along, retiring nine Dodgers in a row until he faced Brian Jordan in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Jordan hit a single, followed by a ground ball hit by Mike Kinkade that was headed towards the mound where the ball reflected off Rueter to Aurilia at shortstop. Aurilia, who was edging towards the middle where the ball would have been if Rueter did not reflect it, changed directions and headed towards third base. He made the catch, but the throw to second was too late. Cabrera hit a grounder up the middle where Kinkade was out on a fielder's choice. This could have easily been a double play, but Aurilia, thinking it would have been easier to initiate the double play with a sliding stop of the grounder, slipped after catching the ball and barely made the out at second. Adrian Beltre was walked and with the bases loaded, Alex Cora hit a ground ball to the hole between second and third, where Alfonzo made an attempted diving stop, but only to have the ball reflect off his glove and go into left field and out of the crossing Aurilia's reach. If Alfonzo did not attempt for the stop, Aurilia was right behind him and could have made the stop easily, where only one run would have been able to score. Even with no errors recorded, the Giants' defense helped the Dodgers take the lead, 1-2.
Through six innings, the Giants were painfully 0-9 with runners in scoring position, including having five out of their six lead off hitters on base. It didn't seem to be a big deal as the difference of the game was only one run, and a poorly hit-and-run play put on by Feliz was among the frustration of the Giants.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers continued to add onto their lead little by little in the bottom of the sixth. Jordan hit a double over the head of Bonds and Kinkade followed with another double that went over the fence in left-center field, getting the automatic two bagger and the automatic run, and giving the Dodgers a 1-3 lead. With one out, Joe Nathan came in relief of Rueter to face Beltre, who flied out to deep center where Kinkade tagged and scored from third, giving the Dodgers a familiar 1-4 advantage. This run was charged to Rueter. However, Nathan received his own earned runs. Nathan could not throw a strike for his life as he gave up a walk to Cora. Cesar Izturis and Dave Roberts hit back-to-back singles and Cora scored on the single by Roberts, breaking the game open for the Dodgers, 1-5. With runners on first and second, Paul Lo Duca was at the plate. Looking to extend his hitting streak, Lo Duca battled pitch after pitch by Nathan, and eventually won the battle with a double to right-center field, where Izturis and Roberts scored, giving the Dodgers a demanding 1-7 lead. Disappointed, Nathan left the game as lefty Scott Eyre came into the game to try and get the final out. Shawn Green hit a double off Eyre into left field to score Lo Duca, charging Nathan with four runs after he pitched one third of an inning. Ten batters, six runs and six hits for the Dodgers, 1-8.
Francisco Santos made his MLB debut going into the game for Jose Cruz, Jr. on a double switch in the sixth inning. He went 0-2 with one deep fly out and one ground out. Trey Lunsford also made his MLB debut catching in the eighth inning and went 0-1 as the last batter of the game to flyout to right.
In the top of the seventh, the Giants were quietly looking to comeback, loading the bases on an Alfonzo single and walks to Durham and Bonds. Santiago flied out to end the inning. This causes for a minor theory... If Felipe Alou did not flip Santiago and Aurilia in the line up, Aurilia would have been batting behind Bonds. Aurilia had two hits in the game and Santiago has none... But oh well, you live and learn.
In the top of the ninth, Grissom chipped away the 1-8 lead with a solo roundtripper, his 13th jack and 3rd against the Dodgers this season. Way to go, Gris! You show those Dodgers you're happy in San Francisco! Durham and Bonds follow with back-to-back singles, but rookie Lunsford flied out in his first major league at-bat to end the game.
Game Notes: J.T. Snow's groin injury sidelined him for tonight's game and his status is day-to-day. This was vital for the Giants because Snow has had success against the Dodgers. With Andres Galarraga still not feeling well, Alou was forced to put the unproductive Feliz at first base. Marvin Bernard was also put on the 15-day DL... again. The Giants ended up 0-11 with runners in scoring position.
SFDugout.com's Player(s) of the Game: Yay for Rich Aurilia for getting two base hits! Too bad these weren't timely hits, as he was stranded... twice, both times as a lead off: once in scoring position and another tagged out on a poorly executed hit-and-run play by Pedro Feliz. Richie continues to enjoy playing against the Dodgers and he was the lone bright spot for the Giants in this game, but too bad the rest of the Giants don't feel like playing ball with LA. Good job to Gris for smacking the only homer of the game. Tipped hats to the youngens, Francisco Santos and Trey Lunsford for making their major league debut. Welcome to the club, kids.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is one of the Two Giant Prophets for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org