Not even seven innings of two-run ball from Johnny Cueto could save the San Francisco Giants from their seventh loss in as many games, as the team fell 9-0 to the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
The defeat to the National League East club makes the Giants losers of nine of 10 and drops their overall record to an even 20 games under .500 at 26-46.
On a night when Cueto scattered five hits across his seven frames while striking out four, the Dominican starter’s personal losing streak extended to four games — a span dating back to May 28.
“Everything was working fine,” Cueto told reporters in Atlanta, via team translator Erwin Higueros. “I mean, I was working the way I wanted to and you saw Johnny Cueto pitching today.”
Ender Inciarte broke through against Cueto with an RBI double in the the third. An inning later, Matt Adams slammed a 402-foot solo shot that bounced off the Chop House Deck that sits above the right-field seats at SunTrust Park.
“I went in with a goal of pitching seven innings,” Cueto said. “[I] tried to keep my head up, not bring it down and that was the goal. To at least give my team seven innings and a chance to win.”
The score remained 2-0 in favor of the hosts until the eighth when the Braves poured it on.
Josh Osich retired the first two outs of the frame while letting in three runs. Derek Law, who came on in relief, didn’t retire any, allowing four runs on five hits before manager Bruce Bochy finally emerged from the dugout to save him from the embarrassment.
“It’s a two-run game and we let the game out of hand,” the manager said. “The bullpen’s got to tighten it up too. That’s the tough part about this game is, sure we didn’t score but it’s a ballgame and we had a chance there and we couldn’t get three outs there in the eighth inning.”
After a 44-minute rain delay, the Denard Span had led off the game with a double which proved to be the club’s only extra-base hit of the night. Eduardo Núñez followed with a single — as the Giants collected two of their four hits in the opening frame.
“The first inning was probably the turning point for us,” Bochy said. “It’s hard to say that in the first inning, but you have first and third and we couldn’t have started the game better than we did — first and third [and] nobody out. We had our guys up there and we couldn’t get a run in. It was downhill from there.”
The shutout marks the eighth time this season that the Giants have been blanked.