SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sergio Romo says he's becoming the same closer who helped San Francisco win a World Series title. Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips just ruined the party.
"I did not hang that slider but it was too good of a pitch," Romo said after the Giants' 7-3 loss on Saturday night. "When you give him a chance like that, he's going to hurt you. It's all about getting that pitch down."
Zack Cozart drove in two runs with a tiebreaking single and the surging Cincinnati Reds scored five times with two outs in the 11th inning after Romo failed to hold a 1-0 lead in the ninth.
Phillips, celebrating his 33rd birthday, hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth for the Reds before pinch-hitter Buster Posey tied it with an RBI double off hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom half.
"I feel like I was getting back in the groove again," said Romo, who was charged with his fifth blown save in 27 chances. "I was legitimately one pitch away. I've made some adjustments and this was a little setback but I'm definitely on the right track to becoming productive again."
Romo converted his first 12 save opportunities and carried an ERA of 1.65 over his first 16 1-3 innings. Since then, he's given up 15 runs in 15 innings over 16 games to see his ERA balloon to 5.17.
"Romo has done such a good job for us and he threw some good pitches," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If we need to do some tweaking, we'll do it. What we have to change is what we do from this point on. We have to bounce back."
San Francisco had a great chance to win, with runners at second and third and nobody out in the ninth. Chapman, however, pitched out of the jam by getting two grounders with the infield in and a strikeout.
"We just needed something, anything," Bochy said. "With any luck we finish the job. We can't get it done."
The NL West-leading Giants have dropped three in a row and 14 of 18.
After a tight pitching duel between Alfredo Simon and Matt Cain, the Reds trailed 1-0 going into the ninth. Joey Votto drew a leadoff walk from Romo, and Phillips homered to left field on a 2-2 delivery.
"It started with the walk," Bochy said. "That's the last thing you want to start an inning. He made a mistake to a good hitter."