Avoid­ing 100 losses gets harder for S.F.

San Francisco Chronicle - - BASEBALL - By John Shea John Shea is The San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle’s na­tional base­ball writer. Email: jshea@sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @JohnSheaHey

The Gi­ants played a game Fri­day night that in man­ager Bruce Bochy’s mind was winnable, and it was. They led by a run in the sev­enth in­ning.

As had hap­pened 91 times pre­vi­ously, the Gi­ants did all they could to lose. The Di­a­mond­backs beat them 3-2, leav­ing the Gi­ants eight losses from the not-so-mag­i­cal 100 mile­stone.

With 13 games re­main­ing, the Gi­ants would need to fin­ish no worse than 6-7. Eight more losses, and they’ll reach triple dig­its for the se­cond time in fran­chise his­tory.

“You come out ev­ery day and try to win that game,” said pitcher Jeff Sa­mardz­ija, who gave up three runs in eight in­nings. “I don’t think you try to win to­day to pre­vent 100 losses. I think you’re try­ing to win that day be­cause you’re try­ing to win the ball­game.

“Ob­vi­ously, no one likes to lose. That’s how we’ll ap­proach ev­ery game from here on out. We’ll see what we got. We’ll see if we got guys who’ll show up and play. If not, we’ll re­mem­ber that and use it for the fu­ture.”

Sa­mardz­ija gave up A.J. Pollock’s two-run dou­ble in the sev­enth, and the Gi­ants’ typ­i­cally quiet of­fense failed to an­swer. Daniel Descalso tripled home Ari­zona’s first run in the se­cond and sin­gled to open the two-run rally in the sev­enth.

Both hits were in right fielder Hunter Pence’s vicin­ity, the first tip­ping off his glove in the gap and the se­cond drop­ping in front of him — he dived, came up short and ex­pe­ri­enced lower back spasms. He ex­ited the game af­ter the half-in­ning and is listed as day to day.

“I jarred it on that dive, and it jammed up,” Pence said. “I’ll try to loosen it up, and once we get mov­ing, I’ll get back in there. It shouldn’t be too long.”

Pence is 34 and con­tin­ues to hus­tle on both of­fense (he got an­other in­field hit Fri­day) and de­fense, though it hasn’t nec­es­sar­ily trans­lated.

“You go as hard as you can,” Pence said. “Some­times they get hits. Some­times you don’t get there. You get hits like that, too. It’s part of it. That’s the game. That’s the fun of it, giv­ing all your ef­fort.” Bochy’s take on Pence: “He’s giv­ing it all he’s got out there. That’s all you can ask for these guys, ef­fort. He plays his heart out ev­ery game. All around, it’s been a tough year. The de­fense hasn’t been quite as sharp. The hit­ting. That’s why we’re where we are at. This is a game we can look at and say we should’ve won, and it got away from us.”

Ari­zona starter Rob­bie Ray gave up both Gi­ants’ runs, one that was earned. Joe Panik and Pence hit con­sec­u­tive right­field dou­bles in the first in­ning.

Sa­mardz­ija opened the sixth with a sin­gle and moved to se­cond on Panik’s se­cond hit. Pence legged out an in­field sin­gle, and Ray’s throw­ing er­ror en­abled Sa­mardz­ija to score.

Nei­ther start­ing pitcher is­sued a walk. Ray struck out 10 in seven in­nings, and Sa­mardz­ija struck out seven in eight in­nings.

The race to 99 con­tin­ues. Any­thing but 100.

“We re­ally would like to avoid los­ing 100 games,” Bochy said be­fore the game. “No­body wants to lose 100 games. We all have pride. We want to do any­thing we can do, all we can do, to fin­ish this thing on a good note and not let that hap­pen.”

Of the 13 games left, all but three are against teams in po­si­tion to make the play­offs. Af­ter the Di­a­mond­backs se­ries, the Rock­ies come to town, and the Gi­ants’ fi­nal trip is through Los An­ge­les and Ari­zona. The sea­son ends with three against the fourth-place Padres.

Ja­son O. Wat­son / Getty Images

First base­man Buster Posey takes a tum­ble af­ter catch­ing a ball hit by Jake Lamb.

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