Giants

Giants' 11-4 loss to Mets 'a bump in the road,' Bruce Bochy believes

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Giants' 11-4 loss to Mets 'a bump in the road,' Bruce Bochy believes

All good things must come to an end.

The Giants' seven-game winning streak? Good, but over.

The New York Mets hit four long homers on Saturday, handing the Giants an 11-4 loss in front of the home crowd at Oracle Park.

Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija couldn't keep the momentum going as he gave up six hits and four earned runs over five innings. He did strike out seven Mets batters, though.

"A tick off as we were as a team," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Samardzija to reporters after the game. "We didn't swing the bats like we had been, so just a little off. It was just one of those days where they had their day and it was a tough day for us."

The Giants came out of the All-Star break on fire, winning eight of their first nine games. They swept a four-game series in Colorado and had won the first two games against the Mets in walk-off fashion. But the bats couldn't get going against New York starter Walker Lockett, who allowed just one earned run in five innings.

"You're going to have days," Bochy said. "We've been playing so well and had a bump in the road here. That's how we have to look at it. Regroup and come out and be ready to go tomorrow."

Bochy was asked if the Giants' recent schedule had something to do with Saturday's lackluster performance.

"It probably looked [like] it today," Bochy said. "It's been a tough schedule for these guys and not taking away from Lockett. He threw the ball well and we had a hard time figuring him out. When you look at this past week, four games in Colorado, 16 innings, but Pablo [Sandoval] went out there and swung it well today, he's been out there almost every inning. [Brandon] Belt, he got a couple hits.

"But it's going to look that way when you don't swing the bats. We're going to have a game like this. But we gotta keep going, keep grinding. We're playing well and this one was just not a good game for us."

[RELATED: Giants reportedly had scouts at Cubs game]

The Giants have a chance on Sunday to erase the bitter taste of this defeat. Left-handed pitcher Conner Menez will make his major league debut Sunday, taking the place of Drew Pomeranz in the rotation. In 18 appearances (17 starts) between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento this season, Menez has a 3.13 ERA and has struck out 123 batters in 95 innings.

Johnny Cueto frustrated by wild performance in Giants' loss to Braves

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Johnny Cueto frustrated by wild performance in Giants' loss to Braves

ATLANTA -- Every part of Johnny Cueto's rehab from Tommy John surgery went according to plan. The first surprise came Saturday. 

Cueto walked five Braves in the Giants' 8-1 loss. For just the second time in his career, he walked at least five and failed to throw more than four innings. 

"I was a little surprised, to be honest," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been so good to this point."

Cueto also used the word "surprised" in discussing the loss. 

"I felt frustrated," he said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "I felt really good and felt strong, but on occasion, I felt frustrated because every time I would throw the ball it tailed toward first base."

A little rust is not unusual after a year of rehab, but Cueto had thrown 10 shutout innings in his first two starts and had no issues with command. The Braves got him for four in the second inning, with three walks being issued. All three of those runners scored. 

"Johnny -- rarely, rarely does he beat himself," Bochy said. "It's fair to say he did that tonight."

This wasn't all on Cueto's loss of command. Not even close.

[RELATED: How Padres firing manager impacts Bochy, Giants]

The Giants were 0-for-SunTrust Park before scratching a lone run across in the seventh inning. They've looked completely overmatched in two games against the NL's second-best team, and they'll need to win out just to finish at .500. The odds are overwhelmingly strong that they end up with a third straight losing season. That can become official as soon as Sunday. 

"We were hoping for a winning season," Bochy said. "We were so close there, and I know we stumbled."

Giants vs. Braves lineups: Johnny Cueto hopes to continue dominance

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Giants vs. Braves lineups: Johnny Cueto hopes to continue dominance

After a night to forget, the Giants will once again take the field in Atlanta against the mighty Braves, who clinched the NL East division title in a 6-0 win over San Francisco on Friday night.

Bruce Bochy’s group got a front-row seat to the Ronald Acuna Jr. show, as the superstar 21-year-old reached base all four times he went to the plate, including a towering two-run homer off Tyler Beede.

The Giants will send Jonny Cueto to the mound, who continues to impress in his return from offseason Tommy John surgery. Cueto didn’t factor into the decision but tossed five scoreless innings with just three hits allowed in his last start at Oracle Park against the Marlins.

Opposite Cueto will be 25-year-old Max Fried, who has had a breakout season in 2019. Fried is second in the NL in wins with 16 on the year.

[RELATED: How Padres firing Andy Green could impact Bruce Bochy, Giants future]

Coverage begins at 3:00 PT with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming in the MyTeams App.

Here are the lineups for Giants-Braves:
 
San Francisco Giants (74-80)
SS Mauricio Dubon
1B Austin Slater
C Buster Posey
3B Evan Longoria
CF Kevin Pillar
LF Joey Rickard
RF Jaylin Davis
2B Cristhian Adames
RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
 
Atlanta Braves (95-60)
CF Ronald Acuna Jr.
2B Adeiny Hechavarria
3B Josh Donaldson
LF Adam Duvall
C Francisco Cervelli
1B Austin Riley
SS Dansby Swanson
CF Billy Hamilton
LHP Max Fried (16-6, 4.25 ERA)