Giants lament multiple failures in loss to Braves

Cain, relievers, offense all shoulder blame after six-run lead vanishes

Giants lament multiple failures in loss to Braves

ATLANTA -- Take your pick: The Giants' 9-8, 12-inning loss Monday to the Atlanta Braves resulted from leaky relief pitching, faulty starting pitching or offensive lapses.

The Giants themselves might settle on a different explanation -- all of the above.

Obviously, glare fell on the relief pitching after it squandered leads in the ninth and 12th innings. But Adonis Garcia's two-run, game-winning homer off Ryan Vogelsong in the 12th followed shortstop Brandon Crawford's error on Jace Peterson's leadoff grounder.

"That puts a little pressure on you," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Moreover, Vogelsong isn't an experienced closer.

Santiago Casilla, who is an experienced closer, pondered his approach against A.J. Pierzynski, whose two-out, two-run homer in the ninth forced extra innings. Casilla observed that after throwing his first two pitches to the outside portion of the strike zone, he came inside with a 1-1 delivery. Perhaps, said Casilla, it would have been "better to work away, away, away, because late in the game he might pull [an inside pitch]. For me, it's better to stay away."

The Giants, who matched a season high with four home runs, lost after leading 6-0 for the first time since Sept. 10, 2013. For that, starter Matt Cain said he was "kicking himself."

Giants hit four homers

Cain added, "We've got a six-run lead and the job of a starter is to keep it there and I didn't do a very good job of that. That got the momentum back on their side."

The Giants still owned that 6-0 lead when they had runners on the corners and nobody out in the sixth inning. Then Crawford, who already had homered twice, lined out. Ehire Adrianza grounded into an inning-ending double play. Both Bochy and Crawford lamented that missed chance to pad the lead.

Coincidentally, Atlanta scored four runs in the sixth to launch its resurgence.

"You want to capitalize on opportunities like that, no matter what the score," Crawford said.

Said Bochy, "You never know in this game. You always want to add on and we couldn't do it in that inning."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.