AT&T Park — For all of the talk about urgency from San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and clubhouse veterans in recent weeks — including another mention of it from Bochy on Thursday — the Giants can’t seem to stop their tumble down the standings.
A sloppy 10-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates placed them seven games out of a postseason spot with about a month and a half to go. They committed three errors, continuing a trend of careless play.
“A couple of miscues there killed us,” Bochy said.
Earlier this week, the Houston Astros bested San Francisco twice without top hitters Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve or George Springer. On Thursday, the Pirates capitalized on San Francisco’s lackadaisical play on the mound and in the field.
Back-to-back errors from second baseman Joe Panik (booted ground ball) and third baseman Evan Longoria (bad throw) to start the seventh inning put runners on second and third and led to a pair of Pittsburgh scores.
Reliever Derek Law then surrendered a three-run home run to Pirates third baseman David Freese on a high fastball that caught too much of the plate.
“That’s a pretty good punch,” Bochy said. “That’s where it got away from us.”
Pittsburgh added two runs in the eighth inning on a single from pinch-hitter Colin Moran and sacrifice fly from left fielder Adam Frazier.
A once-promising rookie campaign for Giants starter Andrew Suarez, meanwhile, continued to unravel. He hasn’t held an opponent below three runs in any of his past five starts, and he has a 7.42 ERA over that span.
On Thursday, Suarez left consecutive second-inning breaking balls in the middle of the zone, which Pittsburgh catcher Elias Diaz and first baseman Josh Bell blasted over the left field wall to give the Pirates a quick 3-0 lead. Suarez went five innings and induced just two swinging strikes out of 80 pitches. His ERA is up to 4.64; it was 3.75 after his final start before the All-Star break.
“With Diaz, it was a tough battle and then he made a good swing,” Suarez said. “With Bell it was just a hanging slider, and he hit it pretty good.”
Said Bochy: “He’s catching too much of the plate. The breaking ball that left the ballpark, then [he] made a mistake to the next hitter.”
San Francisco didn’t record a hit until the fifth inning. The Giants scored twice in that frame when left fielder Alen Hanson hit an RBI triple and center fielder Steven Duggar notched an RBI single. They added three more in the ninth when Panik and Duggar hit two-out doubles.
It was too late.
“We have been shut down too often [for the] first four or five innings,” Bochy said. “That has been an issue. You talk about, the guys are well aware of it, but there’s not an easy solution.”