MILWAUKEE — Ryder Jones made the most of a one-day cameo in Oakland earlier this season, hitting an impressive homer to right field. He appears ready to try to do the same with a September call-up.
On a night that looked like so many others this season, Jones gave the Giants a brief jolt by crushing a two-run shot to right-center off Joakim Soria. He got the Giants within one in the eighth, but the comeback fell short. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers, dropping a seventh straight.
Manager Bruce Bochy would like his hitters to be more aggressive. Too many, he said, are going down looking. Jones put a ride into the first pitch he saw.
“He and [Chris] Shaw, they’ve got plus power,” Bochy said. “If they get ahold of it and it’s in the air, it’s going to go.”
Shaw hit a 468-foot homer at Coors Field. Jones is the king of exit velocity right now. Both of his home runs this season have left the yard at 112 mph, and he has two of the seven hardest-hit balls by a Giant this year despite playing just four games.
Bochy sent both Jones and Shaw up to pinch-hit late against a good Brewers bullpen. He said he wants to learn something about his young players, and not just in starting roles. Jones is blocked at first and third, but he’s still young and plenty talented enough to grab a significant bench role next season.
“Everybody here wants to be on the opening day roster next year,” he said. “You’re just trying to go out and do what you can and show your ability, be aggressive and help the team.”
--- Bochy had a choice to make in the eighth. With right-hander Jeremy Jeffress on the mound and the tying run in scoring position, he let Hunter Pence hit with two outs. Brandon Belt could have replaced Pence, but he was on deck to hit for Aramis Garcia. Pence struck out.
“If you look at Hunter he’s gotten some big hits in that situation,” Bochy said. “He’s got a knack for finding a way to come through. He had a nice hit earlier in the game and is in the flow of the game. He’s a veteran that wants to be in that situation and that’s part of it.”
To be fair, when Belt did hit in the ninth, he struck out.
--- The Giants are still looking for a pitcher with 10 wins. Chris Stratton gave up four runs in five innings, falling to 9-9.
--- Abiatal Avelino struck out twice in his big league debut, although one was a Phil Cuzzi Special. He also showed off a weird pre-at-bat routine.