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09/10/08 9:30 PM ET
Giants hand D-backs sixth straight loss
Ninth-inning lead evaporates on San Fran's walk-off triple
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs hope they did not leave their collective heart in San Francisco. However, they did have it ripped out in back-to-back ninth innings. On Wednesday afternoon, it was a two-out, two-run triple by Eugenio Velez that did in the D-backs, as the Giants rallied for a 4-3 win at AT&T Park. It was the six straight loss for the D-backs, who flew home to Phoenix with an 0-6 trip packed in their luggage for just the third time in franchise history. Both of the other winless trips came in 2004, a year in which Arizona lost 111 games. "It's a horrible road trip," outfielder Chris Young said. "No question about that. A terrible road trip. But we're not going to give up. That's the last thing we're going to do is to give up or stop pushing. No matter what people expect we're still going to go out there and fight every day. That's all we can do." The D-backs have now lost 10 straight on the road. The losses are one thing, but the emotional roller coaster that the D-backs have been through the last two days is another. On Tuesday night, they thought they had some momentum when Chris Snyder hit a two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth only to lose it in the bottom half of the inning when Velez singled home the winning run. On Wednesday, Young delivered a clutch, two-out, two-run triple to right-center that gave Arizona a 3-2 lead. Closer Brandon Lyon, in his second inning of work, could not close the door. Bengie Molina singled with one out, Aaron Rowand drew a two-out walk and Velez capped things when he lined an 0-2 pitch into the gap in right-center to score two and give the Giants the win. Lyon got ahead of Velez with two straight curveballs before trying to go upstairs with a fastball. "Obviously, I'd like to replay that all over again," Lyon said. "It felt pretty good, being so close to winning a game, salvaging a game here, and I just made one bad pitch right there, and he put a pretty good swing on it and found the hole. I felt like I could have made a better pitch in that situation. I didn't do it, and it cost us the game. Getting ahead in the count with the curveball, I felt like I could go up. I just didn't get it up high enough, and he put a good swing on it." It's been a devastating two-week stretch for the D-backs, who went from 4 1/2 games up on the Dodgers to three games back, pending the outcome of Los Angeles' Wednesday night game with the Padres. Throughout, the D-backs have searched for that one hit or performance that would help them get things turned around. "Lyon is out there battling," Young said. "He threw Velez a couple of good curveballs and then came up and in, and you don't expect a guy to turn it around." Because they didn't expect Velez to pull the ball, Young was shaded toward left field on the play. "[The ball] happened to be in the perfect spot where neither me nor [right fielder Jeff Salazar] could get there," Young said. "It's weird. It's just kind of how things are going." D-backs manager Bob Melvin has tried having team meetings, shaken up the lineup, changed roles in the bullpen and nothing to date has done the trick. The players have run the gamut of emotions as well. "It's to the point where sulking and getting down and pressing -- it's time to put an end to that stuff," Snyder said. "It's time to just go all out and play your hardest, lay your chips on the table and see what happens."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.