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ARI@SF: Crawford homers to tie the game in the ninth

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants keep proving they can come back. Now they have to work on turning their thrilling ninth-inning comebacks into victories.

For the second straight game Wednesday at AT&T Park, the Giants rallied in the bottom of the ninth only to lose in extra innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This time, shortstop Brandon Crawford hit a game-tying solo home run into the right-field seats with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but the Giants took a 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

On Tuesday night, Brandon Belt hit a pinch-hit, game-tying two-run blast in the ninth. The Giants went on to lose, 6-4, in 11 innings.

"We all know that we can come back," Crawford said. "We've been doing it since last year. You can never count us out. We just couldn't hold the lead this time."

The Giants, who lost two out of three to Arizona, came close to pushing the winning run across in the bottom of the ninth after Crawford's blast. Pinch-hitter Buster Posey blooped a two-out single to left and moved to second when Angel Pagan walked, but David Hernandez got Marco Scutaro to ground out, ending the inning.

The D-backs had snapped a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth, scoring a run off Giants reliever Jose Mijares. Speedy shortstop Didi Gregorius blooped a two-out double to center field in front of Pagan. By the time Pagan realized Gregorius was headed to second, it was too late.

After an intentional walk to Cliff Pennington, Gerardo Parra lined an RBI single to left, scoring Gregorius.

During the D-backs' game-winning rally Tuesday, Gregorius turned a bloop into a double when left fielder Andres Torres lost it in the lights then hesitated before getting the ball to second.

"He can run, Gregorius," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The ball fell in. ... Us as outfielders, we definitely have to pick it up a little bit as far as getting the ball in. Don't take for granted it's a single, because he just kept running both plays, and we let him get to second base."

Pagan's take?

"He did what he was supposed to. He hustled," Pagan said. "I couldn't get the throw in time. That's what he's supposed to do. There's nothing you can do about it."

In the top of the 10th, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt worked a one-out walk off Giants right-hander Chad Gaudin, then Cody Ross roped an opposite-field double to right, moving Goldschmidt to third. Gaudin intentionally walked Miguel Montero, loading the bases.

Left-hander Javier Lopez came on, and pinch-hitter Wil Nieves sent a sacrifice fly to center, as Goldschmidt tagged and scored, putting Arizona ahead, 3-2.

"We have a sinkerball guy that we're trying to get him to throw the ball up so I can just hit a fly ball to the outfield, and that's all I was thinking," Nieves said. "Just stay closed with my front shoulder and follow the ball the whole way and just don't try to do too much. Just hit a fly ball to the outfield and get one run, and I stuck with the plan and it worked."

The Giants nearly came back to tie it in the bottom of the 10th. With two out, Belt doubled to left-center off reliever Matt Reynolds, but Joaquin Arias grounded out to end the game.

"We've been fighting in all of them," Pagan said of the three-game series. "We haven't got the luck that we wanted, but I think we played good. We were trailing, we come back. We couldn't hold the lead, but we're just going to go out there and keep fighting. This can happen. It's early in the season. We have a lot of games to go. We have to keep playing hard every day."

Crawford went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs, raising his average to .320.

"This kid's gotten better and better," Bochy said. "He's shortened his swing up. And the confidence has really grown with him. You can't get a bigger hit than what he did with the home run. That's what's even tougher about this series. The clutch home runs that we got to tie the game when it looks like it could be over, and we just couldn't finish the deal. I liked the way he's really staying quiet up there. He's using the whole field, and yet he's driving the ball. This is a talented kid who's only going to get better."

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner allowed just one run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings but received his second straight no-decision after winning his first three starts.

Bumgarner struck out seven, walked one and lowered his ERA from 2.05 to 1.87.

"I felt good," Bumgarner said. "Command felt good and arm felt good. Body felt pretty good today. Everything was there."

On most days, that performance would have translated into an easy victory for Bumgarner. But on Wednesday, Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy matched him zero for zero through the first six innings. Kennedy allowed just one run on four hits over six innings, striking out four and walking two.

The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh when left fielder Gregor Blanco led off with a single, and Crawford brought him home with an RBI double off Kennedy. Crawford ripped a 0-1 fastball that turned out to be Kennedy's last pitch.

Right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler came on and retired catcher Guillermo Quiroz, Bumgarner and Pagan in order.

Arizona pulled even with a run in the top of the eighth off Bumgarner. With one out, pinch-hitter Eric Hinske doubled down the left-field line into the Giants' bullpen, where Santiago Casilla was warming up. Casilla actually fielded the ball, and Hinske was awarded second base.

Center fielder A.J.Pollock brought home pinch-runner Parra, lining a single to center and knocking Bumgarner out of the game.

"We did a great job coming back after giving up the lead," Bochy said. "Crawford with the home run. The last two nights it was just kind of the same deal. We couldn't finish it off."

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