Giants end nightmare 1st half 27 games back of Dodgers

Johnny Cueto's ERA jumped to 4.51 on Sunday. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

AT&T PARK   The San Francisco Giants capped off their disastrous first half in fitting fashion, falling 10-8 to the Miami Marlins in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon.

After the club had authored a furious comeback in the bottom of the eighth, George Kontos served up the pair of 11th-inning homers — to A.J. Ellis and Giancarlo Stanton — which doomed the Giants.

The loss completed the Marlins’ sweep and leaves the club alone in last place at 34-56 a staggering 27 games behind the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Manager Bruce Bochy can’t recall being part of a rougher first half.

“I can’t think of one to be honest,” Bochy said. “You try to fix the hole in the dam, [in] the dyke. You put your finger in there and another one springs open.”

Johnny Cueto concluded his own disappointing first half with a 4.51 ERA after surrendering six runs on six and six walks in six innings of work. Last year, Cueto headed into the break as an All-Star, sporting a 2.47 ERA.

“He hasn’t been quite as sharp,” Bochy said. “That’s fair to say. He dealt with the blister thinger earlier, but he’s making more mistakes than we’re accustomed to.”

Cueto admitted that missing the majority of spring training — while tending to his ill father — has impacted his performance.

“Well, I really don’t know,” Cueto said, via interpreter Erwin Higueros when asked the biggest change between this year and last.

“I guess the difference is that I lost spring training,” Cueto continued. “It’s very difficult for me to have to deal with that, but at the same time I feel glad that I was able to miss spring training because my father is alive.”

but brushed aside the idea that trade talk has distracted him.

“I’m not thinking about that,” Cueto said. “What I’m thinking is that I want to stay here, but at the same time, if they decide they want to do that, well that’s their decision.”

Of the half a dozen runs that the right-hander let in, three hit his ledger while Cueto was standing in the dugout in the top of the seven.

The guests produced a four-run onslaught during that frame which turned what had been a 3-3 tie into 7-3 advantage.

The Giants erased that deficit thanks to an RBI double from Denard Span in the bottom of that inning and three-run in the eighth. Brandon Crawford, Nick Hundley and Miguel Gomez. For Gomez, the pinch-hit single was the first hit of his career.

“Really you look at the game, how hard they fought to put themselves in a position to win the ballgame,” Bochy said. “And I said this yesterday, we’ve been there so many times. We just can’t finish it”

Crawford had staked Cueto and the Giants to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, booming a two-run shot above the 421-foot sign in triples alley that hit off the brick arcade before bouncing back onto the field.

Cueto wouldn’t hold that lead for long, allowing a pair of run-scoring doubles to Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna in the top of the third. A couple of innings later, Stanton gave the Marlins their first lead of the day, crushing an 82-mph Cueto slider onto the net that hangs above the Kale Garden beyond the center-field wall.

Cueto has allowed 19 homers in his first 18 starts — four more than he allowed in 32 starts in 2016.

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