Andrew Suarez

Giants notes: Suarez wanted two pitches back; catcher in SF on taxi squad

Giants notes: Suarez wanted two pitches back; catcher in SF on taxi squad

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.

Giants fall apart in ugly loss to Pirates

Giants fall apart in ugly loss to Pirates

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — This time, there was no late collapse. Just a complete one. 

The Giants played poorly in just about every respect Thursday night, losing 10-5 in the first of four games with the Pittsburgh Pirates and falling to 0-3 on what seemed to be an important homestand. On a day their manager once again preached urgency, the clubhouse presented a poor start, bad defense, just three hits in the first eight innings and a shaky bullpen. They are seven games behind the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. 

Here’s what you need to know … 

— The Pirates aren’t exactly dripping with power hitters, but a couple of right-handed bats got to Andrew Suarez in the second inning. Elias Diaz got a hanging curveball and crushed a two-run shot into the bleachers. One pitch later, Josh Bell did the same on a slider that didn’t have much depth. 

— Those were the only runs Suarez gave up, but he did pitch through a lot of traffic. The rookie gave up seven hits in his five innings of work. He has allowed 17 hits over 10 innings in his last two starts. 

— The Giants didn’t have a hit until the fifth. They seem to do that a lot. Austin Slater lined a single into left-center and then Alen Hanson put one in the gap for an RBI triple. Steven Duggar’s single brought Hanson jogging home. 

— Mark Melancon had brutal luck in the seventh. He faced six hitters and got four grounders to infielders and a bloop to shallow left. The bloop was an RBI double, and two of the grounders went for errors (from Joe Panik and Evan Longoria) that got the Pirates going. To make matters worse, Derek Law came in and cashed in two of Melancon’s runners by immediately allowing a homer. 

Giants Notes: Andrew Suarez continues to go through rough patch

Giants Notes: Andrew Suarez continues to go through rough patch

PHOENIX — After a couple of shaky starts early in his career, Andrew Suarez promised to dig deep into the laptop. He made some adjustments and responded by allowing eight total runs over a six-start span. 

The rookie left-hander allowed eight runs in just five innings Saturday night in a 9-3 loss to Arizona. It’s back to the laptop. 

“My mechanics are just a little bit off,” Suarez said. “I’ll go watch film tomorrow and get ready for the next start.”

Whatever is causing Suarez to speed up his delivery and leave so many pitches over the heart of the plate didn’t start Saturday. He has allowed 19 runs over his past four starts, failing to pitch six innings in three of them. The Diamondbacks jumped on him early, getting five in the first — just as they did against Chris Stratton — and then three more in the fifth. Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed hit homers. 

Suarez said he feels fine physically, and there’s no reason why he should be gassed. He has thrown 129 innings in the majors and minors this season, less than in each of the previous two seasons. He should have plenty left in the tank. 

“We gave him an extra day (of rest). We’re keeping an eye on him, but you look at the velo and for three innings (tonight) I thought he had really good stuff,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You know what, this is a young kid. He’s going to have runs where he might not be as sharp. This is part of the growing process.”

--- Buster Posey passed a pre-game concussion test and could start at first base on Sunday, Bochy said. This is all good news, but it also led to a strange situation. Ron Freeman was brought in as a taxi squad catcher but wasn’t needed. Freeman, who has never played in the big leagues, was in the clubhouse afterward, apparently waiting for a return trip to Triple-A. The postgame spread looked good, at least. 

It has to be brutal to get that close to a big-league field after so many years in the minors, and then not actually get onto the roster, but there still could be a happy ending here. The Giants will need a third catcher in September, and team officials chose Freeman over Trevor Brown on Saturday. Ryan Hanigan parted ways with the organization last month. Unless Aramis Garcia gets a bump from Double-A, it appears Freeman will make his big-league debut next month. 

--- Pierce Johnson and Derek Law, called up earlier in the day, both got into the game. Johnson pitched two scoreless innings, getting a little help from Steven Duggar in center field. Law wasn’t as successful; Nick Ahmed greeted him with a solo homer.