The Giants got off to a quick start Sunday afternoon, but could not hold the lead late as they lost the game and the series to their orange and black rival Orioles.
Matt Cain retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced, but he and the bullpen could not hold a two-run lead as they melted down in the later innings of the game in an eventual 10-2 loss.
“It got a little ugly there, no question. The bullpen couldn’t hold them to give us a chance,” said Bruce Bochy.
After a leadoff walk came around and scored in the sixth inning, Matt Cain allowed what would be the game-winning two-run home run to J.J. Hardy in the seventh inning before exiting the game. Jose Mijares, Sandy Rosario, and Barry Zito combined to give up seven runs over the last two frames to put the game out of reach for the Giants.
Three doubles in the first inning by Marco Scutaro, Brandon Belt, and Hunter Pence put San Francisco ahead, but the bats went cold after that as San Francisco struggled to put runners on base as the game progressed.
The slumping Giants fell to a season-worst 14.5 games out of first place, and end the homestand with a 3-4 record. San Francisco has not won a homestand since they went 4-2 against Washington and Colorado from May 20-26.
“There is a lot of pride involved. When you look up and there’s 40,000 [fans in attendance] you want to put on a good show and play good baseball. Today was really a pretty good game until those last two innings,” said Bochy.
It is evident on the faces of the players in the dugout and in the clubhouse that frustration is mounting, as this group that raised a 2012 World Series champions flag at the beginning of the year was expected to be a contender down the stretch, not in last place in the NL west.
“We have set the bar pretty high here over the last three years, and going through what we’re going through, it’s not a lot of fun,” added Bochy.
One of the bright spots on the day was Pablo Sandoval in the batter’s box, as the slugger who was dropped to sixth in the batting order, broke out of a 0-20 slump with a single in the sixth inning, and added two walks on the afternoon.
Next up for the Giants will be a six-game road trip starting Tuesday night in Washington. Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.75) will take the hill against Gio Gonzalez (7-5, 3.52) and the Nationals at 4:05 PST.