AT&T Park — Jake Peavy only gave up four hits on Monday night. The problem was that three of them left the yard.
“To give up four hits and have three of them be homers is just not typical,” Peavy said after the San Francisco Giants lost 7-5 to the Cincinnati Reds.
With the defeat, the Giants have now dropped eight of their last nine contests, as their lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers has dwindled to 2.5 games.
“That’s just the way things have been going for the San Francisco Giants in general — here of late,” Peavy said. “Just kind of bizarre things [are] happening.”
The veteran didn’t give up his first hit until the fourth inning when Jay Bruce connected on the first of his two home runs.
Bruce’s drive ended up in the seats atop Triples Alley, but only because a fan — decked out in a Giants jersey — had reached over the wall to haul in the drive. Afterward, Peavy wasn’t ready to dole out any blame.
“I can’t see that far,” Peavy said of the contested home run, which was upheld after manager Bruce Bochy challenged the ruling. “I asked [Brandon] Belt and he said it was close.”
Three batters later, Eugenio Suarez gave the visitors a 4-1 advantage, sending his 17th home run into the left field bleachers.
In the bottom of the fourth, Belt answered back, hitting his first homer – a two-run shot to beyond the wall in left-center field – since June 19.
“He looked good. Didn’t he?” Bochy said. “Good for him. We need him swinging the bat.”
Belt went 3-for-4 on the night, which gives him more hits in the homestand opener than he collected on the Giants entire eight-game road swing when he went 2-for-33.
Angel Pagan briefly put the Giants ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. After Denard Span singled to begin the frame, Pagan put his sixth home run of the year in the final row of seats above the right-center field
Bruce made sure the lead wouldn’t last. His second homer came on the final pitch Peavy would throw, as the Reds claimed a 6-5 advantage in the top of the sixth.
The Reds bullpen, which has given up 46 more runs than any other group in baseball, would hold the Giants scoreless over the last four inning and retired 15 of the final 16 batters who stepped to the plate.
Before the game, general manager Bob Evans discussed the state of his own pen and his efforts to upgrade the relief corps.
“I think we’re getting some good feedback and getting an idea where clubs see their pecking order and starting to understand expectations,” Evans said. “It’s an ongoing work in progress. I feel like clubs are being transparent about what they need and that’s becoming more clear.”