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Giants 6, Cubs 3: Koji Uehara injured in dull defeat

There’s really no good news coming from this loss.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Every time the Cubs tried to mount a comeback in what wound up a 6-3 loss to the Giants, they’d give up runs to the home team and negate what they’d just accomplished.

So “frustrating” would be a good word to describe this.

I’m not going to harp on the first-inning run thing as that’s been done too many times. However, I will note that this is something that Jose Quintana also did as a member of the White Sox — allow multiple first-inning runs, then settle down and have a pretty good outing the rest of the way.

That’s what happened Tuesday night. And you can’t even necessarily totally blame him, either, because he did what he had to do in that first inning. Gorkys Hernandez hit a ground ball that Javier Baez couldn’t quite handle. It went for a hit. He advanced to second on another grounder to Javy, and then Baez couldn’t pick up yet another ground ball, this one hit by Hunter Pence.

Quintana could have been out of the inning. Instead, there were two runners on with one out, and then this happened:

Buster Posey’s home run landed just out of the reach of Jon Jay. It would have been a spectacular catch; a fan touched the ball so Joe Maddon asked for a crew chief review. But the review showed it was obviously in the seats, giving the Giants a 3-0 lead.

Quintana actually threw really well after that, despite giving up another run in the fourth. He threw 24 pitches in that first inning and just 65 for innings two through six. His line: six innings, six hits, four runs, three earned, overall wasn’t too bad.

But the Cubs simply could not score enough runs to come back. With runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, Jay grounded out, scoring one run, but that was it. One more run came across in the sixth on a pair of one-out doubles by Willson Contreras and Ian Happ to make it 4-2, but Albert Almora Jr. and Jason Heyward grounded out to end that inning.

Ty Blach, who stymied the Cubs at Wrigley in May, threw his game, one dependent on ground balls. He got 11 ground-ball outs out of the 21 he recorded, and that really was that.

Koji Uehara was brought in to the seventh inning. He issued a walk and allowed a single and then left with an injury [VIDEO].

This article has a few details on the injury, though nothing too specific:

After a sloppy 6-3 loss, the Cubs were still evaluating the stiffness that Uehara has been feeling on the right side/lower part of his neck for several days now.

“No, not at all,” Uehara said through a translator when asked if he’s concerned.

Hopefully, that won’t keep Koji out too long, especially since the article above also says:

The Cubs already held back Hector Rondon (stiff back) against the Giants and hope the right-hander will be ready to go for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale.

Carl Edwards Jr. entered and retired all three batters he faced, though one run scored on a force play, charged to Uehara.

And so it was that by the time the Cubs scored a third run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Happ — again, they had multiple runners on with just one out — they had put themselves further in the hole with that seventh-inning run. They never got closer than a two-run deficit.

The Giants’ final run scored off Justin Wilson in the eighth inning. Posey singled, stole second and scored on a single by Brandon Crawford. Wilson ran long counts on almost every hitter he faced, throwing 29 pitches in all, and so likely is not available for the series finale. Wilson’s been pretty unimpressive since he came over from the Tigers in a deadline deal. In four appearances (four innings), he’s allowed six hits and three walks for an opponents’ BA of .316 and OBP of .409, not exactly what the Cubs hoped they were getting, especially since he’s under team control for 2018 and the Cubs will need him as a key part of next year’s bullpen.

First things first. Despite the loss the Cubs remain 1½ games ahead of the Brewers, who were crushed 11-4 by the Twins Tuesday night. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Cardinals won Tuesday, their fourth in a row, and St. Louis is now just 2½ games behind. And the Pirates won, their fifth win in six games, and now trail by only 3½ games.

A four-team race in the N.L. Central? Could happen.

The Cubs will try to take care of business and win the series Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CT. Kyle Hendricks will face Madison Bumgarner. The game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.