SAN DIEGO (AP) - Extra innings have not been kind to the San Francisco Giants lately. They've played extras three times in four games, and lost each one.
The latest was an 8-7 defeat to the San Diego Padres in 12 innings on Saturday night, and it stung a bit more than the others because the Giants gave it away.
Yonder Alonso scored the game-winner when Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro's couldn't secure a ground ball from Nick Hundley and start a possible inning-ending double play.
The Giants also coughed up an early five-run lead and a late 7-6 advantage. Left fielder Andres Torres made a key error in the Padres' six-run fourth inning, but Scutaro's miscue was the toughest to take.
``It was a tough hop, an in-between hop,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``It was a tough play on his part. If he comes up with it, we're out of the inning.'
He didn't, securing the Giants fourth straight loss. They sit at 13-11, struggling in recent games.
``These are tough losses, especially when you have a lead like we did,' Bochy said. ``We made a mistake (Torres' error) and then six runs are on the board. Then you catch a tough break later on.
``You're going to have tough games like this, although you hate to have them. But it's been four in a row now, and that's especially tough.'
The game started well enough for the Giants.
Brandon Crawford hit a three-run homer in the second inning gave San Francisco a quick lead. The Giants added two more in the third on an error by leftfielder Carlos Quentin. The second run scored on an RBI double by Buster Posey.
In a key fourth inning, Giants starter Barry Zito got into trouble.
Alonso and Chris Denorfia each had two-run doubles to help end Zito's night early.
Zito gave up six runs - five unearned in 3 2-3 innings. He had four strikeouts and walked one. Disappointment has been common for Zito in Petco Park. He hasn't made it through the fifth inning in five of his last seven starts in San Diego, and hasn't won there since Aug. 2, 2008.
``He just couldn't get the last out in the fourth,' Bochy said. ``That's what killed us. He was cruising until then.'
Hunter Pence's two-run double in the fifth gave San Francisco a 7-6 advantage before the Padres tied it in the seventh inning on Kyle Blanks' single that scored Chase Headley.
The deadlock remained until the 12th, when the Padres moved ahead.
Sergio Romo (1-2) took the loss.
Joe Thatcher (1-0) pitched the 12th inning giving up two hits for the win.
The victory was big for the Padres (8-15), who have won three straight after losing five in a row.
``It's definitely nice,' said Alonso, who was 3 for 5 with three doubles and two RBIs. ``Wins like this give you life. They give you an opportunity to build some momentum and create a string of positive results.'
The Padres will try for a sweep on Sunday, in an attempt to return serve after the Giants swept them last weekend in San Francisco.
NOTES: Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique, drew positive reviews from a Saturday bullpen session at Petco Park. Manager Bruce Bochy said Affeldt is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Monday. Based on that performance, Affeldt will throw against live hitters or be reactivated. He is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday. . Bochy said he is not implementing a platoon at first base. Brandon Belt, who has struggled against left-handers, started against Padres LHP Eric Stults. . Padres OF Kyle Blanks started for the first time since running into the wall on Sunday at San Francisco. He injured his eye, was pulled from that game and had made one pinch hit appearance since. He went 3 for 6 in his first game back. . Padres RHP Andrew Cashner will remain in the starting rotation after consecutive quality performances. Cashner, who started the season in the bullpen, remains on a pitch-count loosened with every start.
The Associated Press News Service
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