Matt Moore. (Stan Olszewski/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)

Sloppy defense dooms Giants in 5-3 loss to Cleveland

AT&T Park — All San Francisco Giants starter Matt Moore needed to do to escape the fifth inning on Monday was complete a short underhand throw to first base. Instead, Moore airmailed his delivery, allowing Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela to score from second.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor followed with a game-tying RBI single to center.

Before his miscue, Moore gave up one run and three hits over 4.2 frames. He finished with four runs and six hits allowed in San Francisco’s 5-3 defeat. The Giants have now dropped three games in a row, marking their ninth losing streak of at least three games this season.

“It’s hard to shake off right now,” Moore said. “As soon as I let go I knew it was too high.”

Moore claimed he’d never attempted an underhand throw outside of squeeze bunt situations, but he opted to use the toss after fumbling the ball and sensing speedy center fielder Bradley Zimmer racing toward first. When the ball sailed over Jae-Gyun Hwang’s glove, Moore put his hands on his head in disbelief.

Moore entered the contest amid an ERA-inflating funk. He went 0-2 with a 7.43 ERA in his previous three starts. While he fared better on Monday, striking out five over seven innings, he became the first Giants pitcher to drop five straight home starts since Ryan Vogelsong in 2011.

Before Moore struggled in the middle innings, he gave San Francisco a 2-1 advantage with his bat in the third, chopping a high bouncer over Lindor’s head with the infield drawn in to score left fielder Gorkys Hernandez. In the fourth inning, shortstop Brandon Crawford extended the Giants lead with a double off the right field wall.

But with a runner on second and two outs in the fifth, Moore’s errant toss allowed Cleveland to tie the game.

The Indians took the lead in the sixth when right fielder Brandon Guyer attempted a sacrifice bunt and Hwang’s attempt to nab him at first bounced into right field. Hwang and Moore bent over in frustration following the team’s second error in as many innings.

Hwang started at first base in place of Brandon Belt, who missed his second consecutive game with a sprained wrist. While Bochy downplayed Hwang’s unfamiliarity with the position before the game, he said it was a factor in the sixth-inning miscue.

“He’s just not accustomed to making that throw,” Bochy said.

The Giants failed to mount a comeback against an Indians relief unit that allowed five runs in three games to the Oakland Athletics this past weekend. Left-hander Andrew Miller finished the eighth by inducing two groundouts, and closer Cody Allen earned the save with a perfect ninth.

On the night San Francisco’s home sellout streak of 530 regular season games ended, a disappointing season trudged on.

“It’s been a tough go,” Bochy said. “We get home, we want to get off to a good start and win the ballgame, and … you hate to shoot yourself in the foot.”Cleveland Indianserrorjae-gyun hwangMatt MooreMLBSan Francisco Giantsthrowunderhand toss

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