SAN FRANCISCO — Danny Salazar decided to stop thinking so much and turned it into his best outing of the season.
Unfortunately, his performance wasn’t enough as the Indians lost to the San Francisco Giants 4-1 when Cory Allen gave up his first runs of the season on Brandon Hicks’ two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning.
Yan Gomes hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning for the Indians, who were swept for the first time since August. Michael Bourn added two hits and made a run-saving catch in the fourth inning.
“That was pretty good, man,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of Salazar, who gave up one run on five hits in a season-best seven innings. “He made the adjustments he needed to make and threw some really good breaking balls. That’s a pretty good ballgame right there.”
Sergio Romo (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning to get the victory.
Allen (2-1) took the loss.
“I put myself in a bad count there and threw a bad pitch,” Allen said. “When Yanny hit the home run to tie it, I thought we had some momentum going. Then Romo came in and did his thing.”
Gomes’ homer against Giants reliever Santiago Casilla got Salazar off the hook for the loss. The right-hander, who was unable to get out of the fifth in each of his previous three starts, was satisfied with his approach.
“Sadly we didn’t get the win but we battled,” Salazar said. “I came into the dugout with the idea I was not going to think about anything but keeping the ball down. I accomplished that the whole game and it worked. I was trusting myself.”
Ryan Vogelsong, who threw seven scoreless innings in his longest outing of the year, retired the final 12 batters he faced.
Salazar set down nine of the last 10 men he faced. Gomes was the lone baserunner against the Giants’ bullpen.
“These last two days are not on the pitching staff,” Indians’ infielder Jason Kipnis said. “We have to be able to give them more than one run in nine innings. Danny was outstanding.”
The Indians 4-5-6 hitters went 0-for-29 in the series. Clean-up hitter Carlos Santana fell to .093 (4-for-43) in road games.
“We have good hitters,” Francona said. “We have to start making better adjustments and make it harder for guys to get us out. We had some pitches to hit that we didn’t and Vogelsong threw some good pitches.”