LOS ANGELES — The San Francisco Giants’ bullpen did not live up to the major league-best 1.75 ERA they started the day with.
Jeremy Affeldt gave up a tiebreaking RBI double to Dee Gordon with two outs in the seventh inning, Yasiel Puig followed with another double off Jean Machi and Juan Gutierrez allowed two more runs in the eighth as the NL West leaders lost 6-2 to Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday in Matt Cain’s first start off the disabled list.
“They got nicked up a little, but they had been so good and really solid all year,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “It’s going to happen.”
Affeldt (0-1) had pitched 10 2/3 scoreless innings in his 10 previous appearances since coming off the DL on April 16. But Drew Butera doubled to right-center with one out and scored on Gordon’s two-out hit inside third base, with Pablo Sandoval playing in on the grass against the Dodgers’ speedy leadoff hitter. Puig then greeted Machi with a drive that landed just inside the left field line and hopped over the short fence in the corner.
Cain was charged with two runs, three hits and four walks over five-plus innings. The three-time All-Star hadn’t pitched since April 23 and missed two turns in the rotation because of a cut on the tip of his index finger. He was hurt in the clubhouse kitchen at AT&T Park when he tried to catch a knife that fell out of his hand.
“Cain pitched a good game and pounded the zone,” said Matt Kemp, who led off the ninth with his homer off Gutierrez. “He threw strikes, mixed his pitches up well and got them over the plate. We couldn’t really get anything off of him. But we waited him out, got him out of there, got to their bullpen and scored some runs at the end for the W.”
Affeldt came on in the sixth with the bases loaded and none out after Cain gave up two walks around a towering single by Puig that left fielder Michael Morse got a late start on. Gordon scored on a double-play grounder by Adrian Gonzalez, and Kemp followed with an RBI single that tied it 2-2.