CHICAGO — The Giants of the second half have had to settle mostly for moral victories. The hard-hit balls, the buzzard’s luck, the good pitches that end in bad results, and so on.
On Friday, they did not get no-hit. So there was that.
Jon Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh and settled for a complete game. The Giants lost 2-1, falling to 15-29 in the second half. They have six total hits in two games at Wrigley Field.
The Giants did not have a hit Thursday night after Hunter Pence’s third-inning single, and there were no signs of life early Friday. Lester cruised through the first four innings and got a little help in the top of the fifth. Brandon Crawford, who had lined out to first in his first at-bat, smoked a ball the other way. Kris Bryant made a diving catch to keep the no-hitter intact.
Pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson was robbed of a single by a diving Dexter Fowler in the sixth. Denard Span lined out to short for the 38th consecutive Giants at-bat without a hit. Lester was at just 66 pitches through six and he had the lead thanks to back-to-back doubles by Javier Baez and David Ross in the third, followed by a Fowler single.
The Giants’ hitless streak would reach 40 at-bats in the seventh, but Pence broke it up with a two-out, two-strike homer to left. Crawford’s hustle double put the tying run in scoring position, but Eduardo Nuñez lined out to third. He threw his bat and helmet to the ground and then kicked the helmet toward the dugout. Trevor Brown was stranded on second an inning later.
Starting pitching report: Suarez did a solid job as the new No. 5 starter. He allowed three hits and two runs in five innings.
Bullpen report: Cory Gearrin is looking more and more like the Gearrin from the first two months. He struck out Baez to strand two runners in the sixth and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.
At the plate: Pence’s homer was his second in two days. He’s 15-for-39 in his past 11 games.
In the field: Brown was tested for mono earlier in the week, but he made it through nine innings behind the plate to give Posey a needed breather.
Attendance: The Cubs announced a crowd of 40,818 human beings, including Jon Lovitz, who should have gotten an Oscar for his work in The Wedding Singer.
Up next: The marquee matchup in this four-game series. Madison Bumgarner takes on Jake Arrieta.