|Houston (44-90) «||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||4||10||0|
|San Francisco (71-63)||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||0||3||9||0|
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants are losing to teams out of contention. They're losing at home. Great pitching efforts are being wasted.
All those things are cause for concern as the reigning World Series champions approach the final month.
"We've got to win, that's all we've got to do," pitcher Matt Cain said.
To win, they must score more runs.
|More on Astros at Giants|
Jose Altuve got things going with a one-out double against Ramon Ramirez (2-3) and Downs followed with a single up the middle. Altuve was forced into action after slugger Carlos Lee left in the top of the ninth with a sprained right ankle, sustained sliding into second on a double. Lee was 3 for 4 with two doubles.
"It was a big win, especially to get one late like that," Downs said. "It's easy to get frustrated when you blow a lead, but we didn't. We kept battling like it was just a part of the game."
The reigning World Series champions fell four games behind the first-place Diamondbacks in the NL West race after Arizona beat the Padres 6-1. The D-backs come to town Friday for a key weekend series.
On bring your dog day at AT&T Park, the Giants continued to experience the dog days. More missed chances.
They also argued that one chance was taken from them.
DeRosa singled with one out in the 10th off Melancon, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. He slid past the bag and reached back with his left hand, and replays showed he appeared to be safe.
DeRosa jumped up to yell at second-base umpire Dan Bellino and manager Bruce Bochy was ejected for the second time this year.
"I thought I was safe. I mean it's a tough call, bang bang," DeRosa said. "You don't have a choice, you move on. You battle and you've got to put it behind us. We can't scoreboard watch because we've got our own bag of issues we've got to deal with and we've got to get the bats going."
Houston went ahead 3-2 in the 10th on pinch-hitter Jason Michaels' double, then the Giants came back again.
Jordan Schafer lined a tying RBI single to right with two outs in the eighth against Cain to help force extra innings.
The reeling Giants failed to string together their first three-game winning streak since July 17-19 at San Diego. They haven't had a winning home series in five sets since taking two of three from Milwaukee from July 22-24.
San Francisco has played eight straight games decided by two or fewer runs.
"This is a tough loss, no getting around it. We came back a couple times," Bochy said. "As I've said, we have to score some runs for these guys."
The Giants couldn't capitalize in the eighth after getting consecutive two-out singles by Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Beltran off Wilton Lopez. Wesley Wright relieved and retired Pablo Sandoval on a grounder.
Aubrey Huff hit a tying RBI single off Houston starter Bud Norris in the seventh to end a 0-for-15 funk, and singled again in the ninth but the Giants didn't score. After Huff's initial hit in the seventh, Norris received a mound visit before giving up Orlando Cabrera's go-ahead sacrifice fly on the next pitch.
That one-run lead didn't last long.
Norris, pitching back home in the Bay Area, had only allowed one runner to reach second base before the Giants got to him for two runs in the seventh. Sandoval drew a one-out walk to start things off. Brandon Belt singled to bring up Huff, whose struggles have some fans and skeptics calling for Bochy to sit him for an extended period.
Cain, the Giants' hard-luck loser for years now, has only two wins in his last nine starts. The two-time All-Star struck out pinch-hitter Jason Bourgeois with the go-ahead run on first for the second out of the eighth, then gave up Schafer's tying single.
Cain has received the lowest run support in the majors since his first full season in 2006.
Keppinger, acquired by the Giants on July 19 from Houston, was 8 for 26 with three RBIs against his former team -- including 5 for 14 this series.
Astros manager Brad Mills had seen enough.
"OK, Keppinger's done," Mills joked before the game. "He's done getting these big hits against us."
|Jose Altuve starts things in the 11th, and Matt Downs drives him in with a go-ahead single that proves the difference maker. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jordan Schafer, CF||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||.244|
|Angel Sanchez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.242|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||4||0||0||1||0||3||0||.282|
|Carlos Lee, 1B||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.270|
|Jose Altuve, PR-2B||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.300|
|Matt Downs, 2B-1B||5||0||1||1||0||2||3||.277|
|Brian Bogusevic, RF||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.290|
|Jimmy Paredes, 3B||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||.297|
|Carlos Corporan, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.195|
|Bud Norris, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.130|
|a- Jason Bourgeois, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.282|
|Wilton Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wesley Wright, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Fernando Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jason Michaels, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.201|
|Mark Melancon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Carpenter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Norris in the 8th|
|b-doubled for F. Rodriguez in the 10th|
|2B - Carlos Lee 2 (33, Cain, Romo), Jose Altuve (8, Ramirez), Jason Michaels (9, Affeldt)|
|SF - J.D. Martinez (2)|
|SH - Angel Sanchez (10), Carlos Corporan (3)|
|RBI - Jordan Schafer (10), J.D. Martinez (25), Matt Downs (31), Jason Michaels (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer (6)|
|SB - Jordan Schafer (18, 2nd base off Cain/Whiteside)|
|CS - Jimmy Paredes (3, 2nd base by Cain/Whiteside)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Brian Bogusevic 1|
|Mark Melancon (BS,5; W,7-4)||1||3||1||1||1||1||0||3.30|
|David Carpenter (S,1)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.81|
|IBB - Sandoval by Mark Melancon|
|HBP - Keppinger (by Bud Norris), Huff (by David Carpenter)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 98-64, Wilton Lopez 14-9, Wesley Wright 7-5, Fernando Rodriguez 9-6, Mark Melancon 24-12, David Carpenter 7-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 4-7, Wilton Lopez 2-0, Wesley Wright 1-1, David Carpenter 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Bud Norris 26, Wilton Lopez 4, Wesley Wright 3, Fernando Rodriguez 2, Mark Melancon 6, David Carpenter 4|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Andres Torres, CF||5||1||1||0||0||1||0||.228|
|Jeff Keppinger, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Sergio Romo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mark DeRosa, 2B||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.200|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||5||0||2||0||0||2||0||.291|
|Pablo Sandoval, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||0||3||.303|
|Brandon Belt, LF||5||1||1||0||0||3||3||.230|
|Aubrey Huff, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.245|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.242|
|Ramon Ramirez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Miguel Tejada, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.237|
|Eli Whiteside, C||4||0||0||0||0||4||2||.218|
|b- Aaron Rowand, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.233|
|Matt Cain, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.094|
|c- Mike Fontenot, PH-2B^SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.216|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Ramirez in the 11th|
|b-struck out for Whiteside in the 11th|
|c-grounded out for Cain in the 8th|
|SF - Orlando Cabrera (6)|
|SH - Miguel Tejada (2)|
|RBI - Mark DeRosa (4), Aubrey Huff (55), Orlando Cabrera (49)|
|SB - Andres Torres (15, 2nd base off Melancon/Corporan), Carlos Beltran (4, 2nd base off Melancon/Corporan)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Carlos Beltran 1, Andres Torres 1|
|DP - Beltran-Huff|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Ramon Ramirez (L,2-3)||1.1||2||1||1||0||1||0||3.07|
|HBP - Corporan (by Matt Cain)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Cain 116-78, Sergio Romo 13-9, Jeremy Affeldt 18-14, Ramon Ramirez 12-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Cain 9-7, Jeremy Affeldt 2-0, Ramon Ramirez 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Matt Cain 29, Sergio Romo 3, Jeremy Affeldt 5, Ramon Ramirez 5|
|Attendance - 41681|
|Game Time - 3:24|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Tony Randazzo|