SAN FRANCISCO >> They showed a re-run Tuesday afternoon at AT&T Park.
Barely 18 hours after the Giants squandered a spectacular performance by starter Dereck Rodriguez, they did the same after seven shutout innings from Madison Bumgarner, losing 2-1 to the Astros in front of an announced sellout crowd of 41,613.
With the season in its final two months and the Giants sitting fourth in the NL West, six games back entering play, these were back-to-back gut punches that had to hurt. Once again, the Giants slipped below .500, at 57-58.
In both these games I felt like we had a really good chance, and we let them slip away, Bumgarner said. Its getting to the time of the year now, weve got to minimize those. Weve got to find a way.
Its hard to take, manager Bruce Bochy said of the back-to-back defeats.
San Francisco led 1-0, and Bumgarner was watching from the dugout when Marwin Gonzalez led off the eighth with a double against reliever Ray Black, who had retired 31 consecutive batters over 10 outings dating back to early July. It was Gonzalez whose three-run homer in the ninth off Will Smith beat the Giants 3-1 on Monday night, wasting seven shutout innings by Rodriguez.
Two batters later, on a 1-2 pitch, Tyler White deposited a 99-mph fastball from Black over the left field fence, giving the defending world champs a 2-1 lead.
I just didnt locate a fastball on a pitchers count. Thats on me, Black said. He tagged me. A mistake was made on my part.Obviously, in hindsight, I should have thrown a slider.
Bochy wouldnt second-guess himself or be critical of Black or Smith.
Give them credit, they beat two of our hottest relievers, he said. Lightning struck us twice.
The Giants didnt help themselves offensively, managing just four hits in each game against the Astros. They scored their only run Tuesday when Brandon Crawford doubled to left to open the second, then scored on a single to right by Chase dArnaud.
Bumgarner wasnt as clean as Rodriguez the night before, but he allowed just four hits while striking out seven in seven innings.Asked if he was OK being pulled after making 100 pitches, Bumgarner danced around the question.
Im never going to tell you anything different, whether its the truth or not. Theres no reason for me to answer that, he said. The bullpens been throwing great. Ray, thats the first hit hes given up in a month.
Much of the afternoon, Bumgarner battled to escape trouble. He gave up a leadoff triple to Josh Reddick in the second and a leadoff double to Jake Marisnick in the fifth, but Houston couldnt score either time.
The sixth inning was particularly wild.
With one out, White ripped a line drive toward the right-center field gap, which went to the wall when Steve Duggar failed to make a diving catch. White was promptly erased at the plate, trying to score on a sharp one-hopper to first baseman Buster Posey.
Reddick, who reached first on that play, took second on a wild pitch and stole third. But when a low pitch to J.D. Davis squirted past catcher Nick Hundley, Reddick made a dash for home.
Hundley threw to Bumgarner, whose tag retired Reddick, as the Giants cut down two runners at the plate in the same inning.The Giants squandered a triple of their own in the seventh, as Alen Hanson was stranded after a leadoff drive to deep right field that popped out of the glove of Reddick when he hit the fence.
Second baseman dArnaud left the game with a left knee contusion after fouling a ball off the knee with two outs in the fourth inning. Bochy said he expects dArnaud to be fine after an off-day Wednesday.
Bochy said the early report he received on Pablo Sandoval was that the Tuesday morning surgery on his right hamstring went well. Sandoval is out for the season.