The home struggles continued for the San Francisco Giants on Monday night. Taijuan Walker shut down the offense through seven innings and the Mariners kept their bats active from start to finish as the Giants fell 5-1, their ninth straight loss at AT&T Park.
The Mariners jumped ahead early with leadoff man Logan Morrison singling to start off the game. After he reached second on an Austin Jackson single, then advanced to third on Robinson Cano’s flyout, Morrison scored when the Giants weren’t able to turn the double play. The defensive shift led to Joe Panik’s feed reaching Brandon Crawford, who was too far from second, too late to get Nelson Cruz at first.
The Giants were able to tie it up in the second inning, but Seattle scored two more in the fifth. Brad Miller and Mike Zunino led the inning off with back-to-back singles, then Morrison hit into a fielders choice to score one for the Mariners. A fly ball in shallow right field fell, as Panik couldn’t make the catch and Jarrod Parker didn’t call him off the play, leading to one more Seattle run.
“With your infielder going back, hopefully your outfielder takes over,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “It’s a young kid out there. You’re going to have growing pains, but he should have taken charge there.”
Tim Hudson was able to get out of the fifth inning, but exited in the sixth after allowing two Mariners on with no outs. Yusmeiro Petit relieved him of his duties and got out of the inning with two quick strikeouts and a groundout. Hudson finished his night with three runs on eight hits through his five innings, walking one while striking out five.
“He’s gotten the ball up a little bit more than he normally does, his secondary pitches weren’t quite as sharp. Still, three runs, he leaves the game and we’re down 3-1. That’s not too bad,” said Bochy. “He’s getting a little bit up in age, so we don’t expect him to run us deep in the game every time he’s out there.”
Petit finished his game with a scoreless two innings. A Kyle Seager home run off Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth inning gave Seattle a three-run lead, then one more run in the top of the ninth off Hunter Strickland extended it to four.
The Giants’ offense wouldn’t come back, as they extended their home losing streak to nine, the first time it’s reached that length since 1940 at the Polo Grounds. In these nine losses, San Francisco has been outscored 45-17. It has been a tough run for San Francisco, as they were held scoreless after the second inning, and Taijuan Walker shut them down through seven frames. Walker, who has now thrown four straight quality starts, gave up just the one run on seven hits without a walk and struck out six.
“You get in a skid like this, sometimes they do press,” said Bochy. “Why at home, it’s hard to tell.”
On a positive note for San Francisco, Angel Pagan broke his dry streak, finishing his night two-for-four with two strikeouts after going hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Pagan and Crawford were responsible for four of the Giants’ seven hits on Monday night, with Crawford scoring the Giants’ lone run and Pagan reaching third in each of his first two at-bats.
Matt Cain threw his first start with the Sacramento River Cats, striking out six in his first two innings with a mix of fastballs and breaking balls. He gave up three runs – two earned – in his next one and one-third innings, finishing his night with those three runs on six hits, including one home run, walking two while finishing his night with seven strikeouts. Jake Peavy will start tomorrow for Sacramento.
Before the Golden State Warriors try to clinch the NBA championship tomorrow evening, the Giants will end their homestand with a day game against the Mariners before heading up to Seattle to finish off this interleague series. Tim Lincecum, who turned 31 today, will take on J.A. Happ at AT&T Park and try to snap the home loss streak for the Giants.
“It’s not the first time, and we’ll come out of it,” said Bochy. “We’ve been through this.”
Lincecum allowed three runs – two earned – in four and two-thirds innings against the New York Mets in the Giants’ 5-4 loss on Thursday. He will face Seattle for just the second time in his career, the first occurrence taking place three years ago, a loss where he gave up five runs on five hits, including two home runs, in five innings at Safeco. Happ is coming off a tough start, where he lasted just two and one-third innings, surrendering four runs on six hits to the Cleveland Indians.
First pitch at 12:45.