AT&T PARK — Johnny Cueto surrendered a trio of home runs in the opening three innings on Wednesday afternoon, dooming the San Francisco Giants to a second loss in as many days to the Kansas City Royals.
The 7-2 defeat against the club’s 2014 World Series competitors means the Giants end the current homestand with a 1-4 mark, sitting at 26-41 on the season.
“This is humbling to go through something like this,” manager Bruce Bochy after the latest setback. “You keep pushing, you keep fighting. That’s what we’re going to do.”
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Facing his former club, Cueto couldn’t escape the sixth. On a day his ERA ballooned to 4.57, the Dominican right-hander yielded five runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out five in 5.2 innings of work.
“He was just off a little bit today,” Bochy said. “I think what he did there in the fifth, that was pretty impressive. Second and third, he struck out the side to keep it a ballgame, but the damage was done.”
For Cueto, who’s earned a win just once in his last eight trips to the mound, the trouble began in the top of the second. It was during that frame that Mike Moustakas slammed a solo home run beyond the wall in right-center field. One inning later, both Jorge Bonifacio (two-run homer) and Lorenzo Cain (solo shot) went yard against the Giants starter.
“I left those three pitches hanging and they beat me,” Cueto explained via team translator Erwin Higueros.
With those three long balls on his ledger, Cueto has now given up 16 homers in 14 starts — one more than he allowed in 32 starts a season ago. Cueto, who has struggled with blisters on his pitching hand throughout the season, insisted he was 100 percent for his outing against the Royals.
“My hand was fine,” Cueto said “It’s just I had a bad day and the only thing is just continue working and we have quite a few games left still.”
Bochy concluded his press conference with words of praise for the still-strong crowds at AT&T Park.
“It’s amazing. You look out and see the support we’re getting, it really is amazing,” Bochy said. “And we’re very appreciative because we know what it’s been.”
Bumgarner to throw simulated game on Saturday
Madison Bumgarner threw all his pitches on the mound before the matinee loss. Bochy said after the game that the team is hoping the left-hander will throw a simulated game on Saturday as he travels with the club to Denver for the four-game set that begins on Thursday night.