The Giants hand the Phillies a rare second straight loss as three errors prove costly

Philadelphia Phillies

SAN FRANCISCO — It finally happened.

Five weeks ago, during an otherwise nondescript four-game series in Cincinnati, the Phillies lost back-to-back games. They didn’t do it again until Memorial Day, a testament to outstanding starting pitching and timely hitting.

The former let them down Monday. After the Phillies came back from an early three-run deficit against the reigning Cy Young Award winner, Taijuan Walker gave up a handful of hits on his signature splitter and couldn’t hold a one-run lead in an eventual 8-4 loss hard by San Francisco Bay.

And so, coupled with dropping the series finale in Colorado on Sunday, the Phillies have lost consecutive games for the first time since April 23-24, their first bit of adversity since, well, a 2-4 start on the season-opening homestand.

Alec Bohm made two errors, including a boot of a hard grounder by Thairo Estrada in the fifth inning with the Phillies holding a 4-3 lead. That misplay, which came with runners on second and third, enabled the tying run to score. The Giants took a 5-4 lead on Patrick Bailey’s sacrifice fly.

But the Phillies built the best 50-game start in franchise history on the backs of their starters. In losing the series opener against the Giants, Walker lacked his best stuff, especially his splitter.

To be fair, Walker’s splitter has been missing for weeks. Entering the game, opponents were 11-for-23 against the pitch. The Giants jumped on it for five hits, including LaMonte Wade Jr.’s double in the fifth inning and Brett Wisely’s RBI double in the sixth.

After the Giants retook the lead, manager Rob Thomson stuck with Walker for the sixth inning. Mike Yastrzemski drew a leadoff walk and scored on Wisely’s double to stretch the margin to 6-4. The Giants added two runs in the seventh on a rally aided by another Bohm error, his fourth in the last six games.

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The Giants built a 3-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double by Yastrzemski and Wisely’s single.

Last season, a three-run deficit against Blake Snell would have been game, set, and match. But the reigning Cy Young Award winner hasn’t found a rhythm with the Giants.

Snell’s free agency dragged into the middle of March, when he finally signed a two-year, $62 million contract. He missed one month after straining an adductor muscle near his left hip on April 24. Through four starts, he didn’t complete five innings or throw more than 87 pitches.

So, the Phillies stuck to their approach and ran up Snell’s pitch count. They chipped away at the Giants’ lead, too, beginning with Kyle Schwarber’s towering two-run homer to right field in the third inning, his first homer since May 6, also against the Giants.

Edmundo Sosa continued his uncanny Trea Turner impression with a one-out triple in the fourth inning, then scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Whit Merrifield reached on a rare error by Giants third baseman Matt Chapman, stole second, and scored the go-ahead run on Johan Rojas’ single.

But a funny thing happened once the Phillies grabbed the lead. Their starting pitcher couldn’t hold it.

And it led to their first back-to-back losses in more than a month.

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