The archrivals begin a four-game series hoping to gain some ground on the first-place San Diego Padres.
San Francisco had golden opportunity to complete a sweep of San Diego, but suffered a 5-4, 10-inning loss Wednesday after taking a two-run lead into the ninth.
“It’s a tough one to lose … especially with what we could have accomplished,” Giants left-hander Scott Eyre said.
San Francisco seemed to be energized in the first two games of the series with the return of slugger Barry Bonds. However, Bonds opted to rest Wednesday — often his practice for day games following night games—after playing the previous two nights since his recovery from three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31.
Bonds did enter as a pinch-hitter against San Diego reliever Akinori Otsuka with two runners aboard in the eighth, borrowing Pedro Feliz’s bat after breaking his own on a foul ball. He was retired on a called third strike he clearly disagreed with.
“The pitch he struck out on was low,” manager Felipe Alou said. “Nobody was going to hit that pitch. Some umpires need to learn the strike zone, too.”
Los Angeles also lost a tough game Wednesday, falling to Colorado 8-7 after squandering an early 5-0 lead. The Dodgers and Giants are both six games behind the Padres.
“This one is real bad,” Los Angeles starter D.J. Houlton said.
The Dodgers lost their second straight game.
“We have to win a number of our remaining games and we need some help,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “When you score seven, you like to think you got plenty to win, but obviously giving up eight is a substantial number.”