SAN FRANCISCO — Coming off the worst start of his career, Andrew Suarez actually felt alright about his performance Thursday night. When he looked back on it, he saw two pitches he wanted back. But, man, did those two pitches do some damage.
Suarez threw a hanging curveball to Elias Diaz and followed that up with a handling slider to Josh Bell. Both found the seats, and the Pirates took a 3-0 lead they never gave up. They won 10-5, handing Suarez his eighth loss.
“With Diaz, I just left it up and he made a good swing,” Suarez said. “With Bell, it was a hanging slider and he hit it pretty good.”
Suarez has given up 17 hits in his last two starts. He was much better after the brief flurry, but the damage had been done.
“He just is catching too much of the plate,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He got better as he went and started making better pitches, but more than anything it’s his command. They were aggressive against him and took advantage of some pitches in the middle of the plate.”
—- For the second time in a week, a catcher was brought up on the taxi squad. This time it was Aramis Garcia, the third catcher on the 40-man roster, who brought his gear to AT&T Park and waited for the result of a concussion test. Nick Hundley was watched closely after taking a foul tip off the mask Tuesday, but he was fine in pre-game drills and stayed active.
Garcia should be back in about three weeks. He was recently promoted to Triple-A after posting a .230/.283/.390 slash line for Richmond with 11 homers. Garcia got off to a really slow start but had a .862 OPS since the Double-A All-Star break.
“He’s really come a long ways with the catching part and receiving and he’s doing a good job there,” Bochy said. “The bat is going to play.”
—- Brandon Belt did pre-game running and took BP. He should be ready to return sometime early next week. The Dodgers face Clayton Kershaw on Monday, so probably at some point after that.
—- Barry Zito was out there before the game singing the national anthem. He seems to be enjoying retirement.