MLB 2011: Shaky Defense Costs San Francisco Giants Again

Jonathan Sanchez- via Flickr's artolog

The San Francisco Giants lost 4-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night at Dodger Stadium.

As in the Opening Day loss, the Giants were done in by poor defense.

Before letting the game slip away, San Francisco took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning on Brandon Belt’s first major league home run, a three-run shot also good for his first RBIs and run scored in the bigs.

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsely had not surrendered a home run in his past nine starts at Dodger Stadium.

Everything fell apart in the bottom of the sixth inning.

First, Matt Kemp led off with a single.

Then, he broke for second on a stolen base attempt when Marcus Thames hit a grounder to third. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval came off the bag to field it, leaving the base unattended.

Kemp saw this and took off, reaching third safely. He scored on a sacrifice fly by James Loney.

Rod Barajas and Aaron Miles followed with back-to-back singles, but Sandoval committed an error on an off-balance throw that eluded the first baseman Belt, putting the runners at second and third.

Barajas brought in the tying run when Jonathan Sanchez dropped the ball for an error.

Miles scored on a basehit to give L.A.  a lead they would not relinquish.

However, the Giants did threaten in the seventh. They loaded the bases with two outs, but Buster Posey swung and missed on a 3-2 pitch (the seventh of the at-bat), sending his bat rocketing into the stands.

San Francisco went quietly the rest of the way as Sandoval was the only Giant to reach base in the last two innings when he hit a single in the top of the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, he made a fantastic sliding catch in foul ground near the tarp roller. (VIDEO)

Sanchez was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs but two unearned on seven hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. He also struck out eight.

Like Belt for the Giants on Opening Day, Ivan DeJesus made his big league debut for the Dodgers.

DeJesus batted second and played second base. He was walked once and went 0-for-3, striking out all three times.

The series continues today at 1:10 p.m. PT. Starting pitchers Matt Cain and Ted Lilly will each be making their season debuts.

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