AT&T PARK — The orange and black travel bags were scattered across the floor of the quiet clubhouse.
As has so often been the case during an ugly second half, the San Francisco Giants had just followed up a crushing loss with an uninspired effort on Sunday afternoon.
“The one game [on Saturday night] — that’s a big swing — there’s no getting around it,” manager Bruce Bochy admitted after his club was blanked 3-0 by the St. Louis Cardinals, their 12th shutout of the season.
“That hurt, not holding on and getting three outs there,” Bochy said. “And that’s a big swing for them and for us. That’s what you’ve got to deal with in this game.”
After losing two in a row to the Cards, the Giants fell a game behind the New York Mets for the top wild-card spot and sit one game ahead of St. Louis in standings.
The Cardinals also claimed the season series, 4-3, which means the Giants would have to travel to St. Louis for any potential wild-card showdown or play-in game.
First, the Giants will have to travel south to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set beginning Monday night. With the Dodgers loss on Sunday afternoon, the Giants enter the series five games back in the division.
“They’re going to be tough,” Brandon Crawford said. “We’re going to give them all we got. I think we’re ready for them. Today we lost. Tomorrow is a new day.”
On Sunday — the hottest day of the season — the Giants’ offense was ice-cold.
Entering the contest, Cardinals’ rookie Alex Reyes had allowed three earned runs in his first two starts. In his third, he didn’t allow any.
Reyes only needed 53 pitched to work through five innings of two-hit ball — with both singles coming off the bat of Eduardo Nunez. In the sixth, the Giants finally managed to put some pressure on the right-hander.
Denard Span led off the inning with a single and then Brandon Crawford nearly sparked the offense with a swinging bunt.
Reyes came charging in to field the dribbler and throw out Crawford, but instead airmailed his throw into the box seats behind first base.
The errant throw allowed allowed Crawford and Span to advance to second and third, respectively, but that’s as far as either one would make it.
Hunter Pence struck out on a check swing before Brandon Belt walked to load the bases. Reyes then got Nunez fly out to left, pumping his fist emphatically as he stormed off the mound.
The quiet day at the plate means that Suarez will have to go on waiting for his first win since June 23.
“When he gets his starts, he keeps us in the games and gives us a chance,” Bochy said. “We just couldn’t give him any runs.”
The only damage against Suarez came with two outs in the third. Matt Carpenter lined double into the right-field corner before Aledmys Diaz knocked a two-run homer — his 16th — into the left-field bleachers.
“I feel like every time I miss a pitch, it’s a home run,” Suarez explained. “I’m like, ‘Wow, that should be a double.’ But this is the big leagues, it’s a home run.”albert suarezeduardo suarezMLBSan Francisco GiantsSt. Louis Cardinals