Giants

Giants flame out again, but don't expect lineup changes yet

Giants flame out again, but don't expect lineup changes yet

SAN DIEGO — It is common, when a team is going through a stretch like this, for the manager to be asked about shuffling the lineup. Perhaps a struggling star needs to be moved down in the lineup, and after Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Padres, Bruce Bochy was asked if he thinks Evan Longoria needs a break from the No. 5 spot. 

“I don’t know… do you think?” he said, his eyes wide. “Obviously these are things we’re talking about, what is the best way to go, but it’s not one guy. We’ve got three or four guys who are still trying to find it here in the early go.”

You could argue it’s even more than that, and Bochy later had a more telling comment. 

“When someone gets really hot, you move them, but that’s not the case right now,” he said. 

The staff can meet for hours a day, but there’s not much that can be changed when most of a lineup is slumping or inconsistent. Joe Panik got off to a hot start and has remained on track, and he looks poised to hit first or second all year. Buster Posey saw his hitting streak snapped Friday, but he’s still batting .341. 

Other than that … 

  • Andrew McCutchen has two walk-offs but he’s also batting just .204. He came up in a big spot in the seventh and bounced into a double play, dropping to 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position. 
  • Brandon Crawford had three singles on Friday but he entered the day batting .225. 
  • Brandon Belt had two singles, but he continues to strike out in big spots. 
  • On his birthday, Hunter Pence went hitless in four at-bats, dropping his average to .200. 
  • Longoria struck out three times, dropping to .149. 
     

“We’re still having a tough time getting that big hit,” Bochy said. “That’s got to pick up here. We’ve got to find a way to get these runners in.”

The game was the 13th of the season and the Giants have been held to zero or one run in seven of them. But they also scored 10 runs against Felix Hernandez, seven in a thrilling win over the Dodgers on Saturday, and seven here on Thursday. That kind of inconsistency has managed to keep them around .500. It has also made it difficult to truly make lineup changes. 

Bochy said the staff will continue to talk, but don’t expect anything drastic on Saturday. The Giants are facing a left-handed starter, so it’s not an ideal time to give too many of the regulars a breather. The heart of the lineup is right-handed. 

The frustration is building, but Bochy remains hopeful this group will come out of the funk. He’s hoping the inconsistency ends soon.

“You look at how the season has gone and we’ve been pretty good or it’s been a rough go,” he said. “Seven games, one run or less, that’s not going to work.”

Chase d'Pitcher? Watch the infielder take the mound for Giants in blowout loss

Chase d'Pitcher? Watch the infielder take the mound for Giants in blowout loss

On April 28, Pablo Sandoval took the mound in a Giants blowout and pitched a perfect inning against the Dodgers.

Nearly four months later, Chase d'Arnaud was called on to pitch in a lost-cause game and almost matched Sandoval.

With the Giants trailing 11-4 in Cincinnati on Sunday, Bruce Bochy had d'Arnaud pitch the bottom of the eighth inning.

The first batter d'Arnaud faced, All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suarez, flew out to right field. Reds right fielder Phillip Ervin ruined d'Arnaud's big for a perfect inning by singling to right. Pinch hitter Preston Tucker followed by flying out to center field. d'Arnaud retired the side by getting second baseman Dilson Herrera to fly out to right field.

Watch the highlights from d'Arnaud's inning of work above.

Giants swept by lowly Reds in Cincinnati, sink deeper into hole

Giants swept by lowly Reds in Cincinnati, sink deeper into hole

BOX SCORE

CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez and the Cincinnati Reds closed out a nice weekend with another solid day at the plate.

It was quite a response to a tough series against Cleveland.

Suarez hit a two-run homer during Cincinnati's seven-run third inning, and the Reds swept the San Francisco Giants with an 11-4 win on Sunday.

Jose Peraza also hit a two-run homer for last-place Cincinnati, which outscored San Francisco 18-5 in the last two games. Billy Hamilton tripled twice and drove in three runs.

The Reds also swept the Giants in Cincy last season. Nine different Reds scored at least one run, helping Cincinnati bounce back after it was swept by Cleveland.

"Sometimes it is when you play a club," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We had a hot Cleveland team, then we get a Giants team that's been struggling with the bats. We got them at the right time."

San Francisco had a chance to sweep Los Angeles before the Dodgers' 12-inning victory on Wednesday night. The Giants then managed just six runs in the sweep by the Reds, extending their slide to four games.

"It's frustrating," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't hit much, The offense didn't do anything here. We were hoping for more."

Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez (4-9) was tagged for seven runs, five earned, and seven hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings in the finale.

"I got ahead," Suarez said. "I just couldn't put them away. I didn't have that putaway pitch today. I thought I had good stuff. The location wasn't there."

Giants infielder Chase d'Arnaud worked a scoreless eighth in his first career pitching appearance.

Suarez's career-best 27th homer made it 6-1 in the third. Scooter Gennett hit a two-run triple before Suarez's drive to center.

Curt Casali also had two hits and drove in two runs in Cincinnati's big inning.

"It was an awesome inning," Casali said. "I'm sure I've had two hits in an inning at some point in my career, but not in the big leagues. Any time you put up a crooked number against a club like that, it's important."

Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (7-10) struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with three runs, one earned, and six hits.

"Everything was working for me today," Castillo said. "I was commanding my changeup. My slider was good and I was throwing strikes. I think, like last year, I'm able to throw my pitches in any situation."

Castillo retired 13 straight batters before Stephen Duggar's two-out single in the seventh.

"You look at his velocity," Bochy said, "I don't know of anybody in the National League who throws harder on average, and his changeup was biting. He was on top of his game."

Peraza finished with three hits as Cincinnati closed out a 5-4 homestand. Phillip Ervin had two hits and scored a run.

NEW LOOK:
Brandon Belt became the first first baseman to lead off for the Giants since David Bell on July 6, 2002, at Arizona. Belt went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

NEW FACE:
Aristides Aquino made his major league debut when he ran for Gennett in the sixth inning. Aquino was recalled from Double-A Pensacola on Friday when Joey Votto was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

TRIPLE HAPPY:
The Reds had three triples in one game for the first time since Hamilton, Peraza and Devin Mesoraco tripled against the Dodgers on June 17, 2017. Hamilton is the first Red with two triples in one game since Jay Bruce on May 2, 2015, at Atlanta.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Reds: OF Scott Schebler (strained AC joint in his right shoulder) is set for a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola. The Reds hope he will be ready to join them in Chicago during their weekend series with the Cubs.

UP NEXT:
Giants: LHP Derek Holland (6-8) makes just his second career start against the Mets in Monday's series opener in New York.

Reds: Homer Bailey (1-10) is scheduled to start Monday in Milwaukee. The Reds are 1-15 in Bailey's starts this season.