SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy let Chris Stratton bat with the bases loaded Monday night in large part because the rest of the bullpen needed a break. That extra rest didn't help.
Every reliever but Stratton pitched in a 13-11 loss to the A’s and four of the seven were charged with runs. The Giants gave back two late leads and the bullpen allowed 10 runs, eight of them earned. The situation got so dire that Stratton, who threw 57 pitches a night before, actually warmed up in the ninth as Santiago Casilla struggled to get the Giants off the field.
This game ended up being a shootout, but early on there was plenty of quick work from Albert Suarez. The right-hander continued to shine in place of Matt Cain, who won’t return until after the All-Star break. Suarez gave up a laser shot of a homer to Kris Davis in the fourth, but he entered the sixth with a 4-1 lead thanks to a pair of two-run knocks from Crawford and Angel Pagan.
That lead, and Suarez’s bid for a fourth win, wouldn’t hold up. The A’s sent nine to the plate for the second time in the first 15 innings of this series, scoring four off Suarez and George Kontos to take a one-run lead. Suarez was pulled after putting two on with two outs in the sixth, and Kontos gave up a double to the first batter he faced, Stephen Vogt. Conor Gillaspie’s error extended the inning, allowing the A’s to add two more on Billy Butler’s single.
The Giants then hit around in their half of the inning. With two on, the A’s intentionally walked Buster Posey to face Brandon Crawford. He made them pay, lining a triple into the left-center gap to give the Giants an 8-5 lead. The five-RBI game was the fourth of Crawford’s career and second in the last six weeks.
Two innings later, the bullpen once again started spinning. Cory Gearrin faced three batters in the eighth, walking two and giving up a single. Javier Lopez entered and pinch-hitter Jake Smolinski blasted off. As his three-run homer settled into the seats, Smolinski joyously flipped his bat.
The A’s would score three more runs against Casilla in the top of the ninth. The Giants got back-to-back homers in the bottom of the inning, but couldn't claw all the way back.
Starting pitching report: Cain (hamstring) will make at least two rehab starts, so Suarez’s run in the rotation isn’t near an end. He had another solid night, giving up three earned on three hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Bullpen report: Right-handed hitters were 0-for-10 against Lopez before Smolinski’s blast into the seats.
At the plate: Gillaspie had his third career four-hit night. Two of them have come in the last eight days.
In the field: Backup catcher Trevor Brown played third base in the top of the ninth.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,740 human beings, including Festus Ezeli, who sat in the owner’s box.
Up next: Jake Peavy will look to keep cutting into that ERA. The red-hot right-hander takes on left-handed rookie Sean Manaea at the Coliseum Formerly Known as O.co.