Chicago — All the San Francisco Giants asked for was a fair shot, and that’s exactly what they got in the end.
Hector Rondon stopped Angel Pagan’s smash with his right foot for the final out on Thursday night, and the Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in the conclusion of a suspended game.
The Giants needed the first successful protest since 1986 for a chance to finish Tuesday’s game after umpires called it following a 4 ½ hour delay. Thursday’s resumption was also delayed by rain: 1 hour, 57 minutes
“It was a little bit of a strange one with the suspended game today,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who added, “You know, they got it right.”
Trailing by a run and with runners were on first and second in the ninth inning, Pagan sent a hard hit ball that glanced off Rondon the closer’s follow through. The right-hander scrambled to retrieve the ball before he underhanded it to first base.
“Yeah, it was a hard-hit ball, and the pitcher did a great job from stopping it from getting through,” Bochy said. “It keeps us from tying the game. It’s a shame.”
The Cubs led 2-0 Tuesday when a short rainstorm caused a delay of more than 4 1 / 2hours because the grounds crew couldn’t put the tarp down quickly. The umpires said the field was unplayable and called it at 1:16 a.m.
But the Giants protested, and MLB ruled that the tarp had not been properly put away after its previous use. The game was suspended.
When play resumed after the rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning, Giants reliever Yusmeiro Petit struck out the side. The right-hander also fanned the first two batters in the sixth.
“Geez, it’s hard to throw any better than he did,” Bochy said. “I liked to think that would get us going, and it really did.”
Pinch-hitter Joe Panik’s RBI single off Jacob Turner in the sixth inning made it 2-1. But Turner, Pedro Strop and Rondon protected the lead with a scoreless inning each. The save was Rondon’s 19 in 23 tries.
Tuesday’s starters proved to be the pitchers of record. Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) earned the victory, while Ryan Vogelsong (7-9) took the loss.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer.