Mostly, the Giants remain competitive. Until Tuesday night's 8-1 setback, they hadn't dropped a game by more than five runs since May 9, when the Dodgers drubbed them, 8-0.
"You have to come back," Sanchez said. "At some point it's going to turn around."Sanchez lacked that attitude during the game. Asked whether untimely events such as Sandoval's errors jarred Sanchez, Bochy said, "At times, I think he did get distracted." Sanchez fell behind on the count to Juan Rivera, 3-0, before the Angels' cleanup hitter smacked a first-inning RBI double. Instead of overcoming Sandoval's compounded mistakes in the third -- he played Maicer Izturis' grounder off his glove, then picked up the ball and fired it into the Angels' dugout -- Sanchez allowed Bobby Abreu's RBI single, Rivera's infield hit and Mike Napoli's three-run homer. By contrast, Sanchez blanked the Angels in the second inning despite Kendry Morales' leadoff double. "When I made a good pitch, they hit it," Sanchez said. That trend continued in the fourth inning. O'Sullivan led off by singling sharply off third baseman Rich Aurilia's glove before Izturis drove a 3-1 pitch down the left-field line for another homer. From the Giants' perspective, there wasn't much left to watch after that. The bullpen, which worked only two innings in the previous series against Oakland, hiked its two-game total against the Angels to 10 2/3 innings. O'Sullivan, who compiled a 6.02 ERA in Triple-A -- which happened to be where he returned after the game, since the Angels' need for him was temporary -- surrendered San Francisco's lone run in his seventh and final inning as Bengie Molina singled, moved to third on Sandoval's double and came home on Nate Schierholtz's sacrifice fly. Second baseman Matt Downs looked capable in his Major League debut. Despite going 0-for-3, he connected solidly each time.
"I felt good at the plate," said Downs, who replaced the demoted Emmanuel Burriss. "Nothing fell tonight. That's the way it is sometimes."Wednesday's series finale promises to be different, at least in terms of personnel. Bochy indicated that Sandoval will play third base for the first time since injuring his right elbow last month. Travis Ishikawa, who has started once in the last 18 games, likely will play first base. Oh, and Lincecum's pitching.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.