AT&T PARK — All the injuries are starting to wear on Bruce Bochy. Before the 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants manager admitted he’d lost track of when Matt Cain was due to make his rehab start.
“I’ve got enough here to worry about right now,” Bochy said before a reporter informed him that Cain was about to pitch for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
Earlier in the day, the team put scheduled starter Jake Peavy on the disabled list with lower back tightness. Hunter Pence, who’s nursing tightness in his hamstring, underwent an MRI. At 5:45 p.m.— 20 minutes before first pitch — the team scratched Brandon Belt with neck stiffness.
Then there was Buster Posey, who was off for a scheduled day of rest.
“Sure, you’re going to miss those guys,” Bochy conceded of running out a lineup minus Posey, Pence and Belt. “That unfortunately happens once in awhile and it happened tonight to us.”
Emergency starter Albert Suarez was cruising early. After walking Ender Inciarte to begin the game, Suarez retired the next nine batters he faced.
In the fourth, Braves jumped on the 26-year-old, stringing together three hits to begin the inning. The third one left the park.
“The pitch that I’m sure he’d like back was the one to [Matt] Kemp,” Bochy said. “It got away from him and went for a three-run homer [and] that was the difference in the game.”
Kemp’s 23rd long ball turned what had been a 1-0 advantage into a 3-1 deficit.
“He put a good swing on it and hit it far,” Suarez said. “Other than that, it was [a] good [night].”
He added: “It was supposed to be outside and it wasn’t.”
Brandon Crawford, who batted cleanup with Posey on the bench, gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field homer in the second. The shortstop also collected a leadoff double in the seventh, but his teammates couldn’t find a way to bring him home.
“We just couldn’t get a key hit,” Bochy said after the Giants went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. “That’s how you win ballgames and that was missing tonight.”
Belt, who felt good enough to pinch hit in the eighth, said his neck initially locked up on him on while he was sleeping on Thursday night. The first baseman explained that he wasn’t close to 100 percent during his at-bat but hinted he’d play Sunday.
“If you held a gun to my head — you can phrase that different if you want — but I would say, ‘Yeah, I have a good chance of playing tomorrow.’ But it’s just one of those things you don’t know until you get here.”
Bochy said he expects Cain to be ready to go when the Giants need a fifth starter next week in Chicago. That was before the right-hander gave up six runs (four earned) on 10 hits in five innings of work while walking two and striking out four.
While Bochy has yet to see the MRI results from Pence’s hamstring, the manager said the right-fielder was available to pinch hit. Bochy said Pence is feeling “much better” and targeted Tuesday’s opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks for a return to the starting lineup
Jarrett Parker made an unexpected appearance in the AT&T clubhouse on Saturday afternoon. The outfielder took part in batting practice but couldn’t stick around for the game as he wasn’t added to the 25-man roster. The Giants could open a spot for Parker by optioning Suarez to the minor leagues before Sunday’s finale.
“We’ll see. I’m going to talk to [general manager] Bobby [Evans] here soon and see what we’re going to do,” Bochy said. “We are a little banged up right now. So, that’s a possibility.”
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