Andrew Suarez

Suarez struggles with command vs Astros: 'I'll keep looking at film and figure it out'

Suarez struggles with command vs Astros: 'I'll keep looking at film and figure it out'

HOUSTON -- Several times, while discussing Andrew Suarez's command issues, manager Bruce Bochy mentioned that the lefty is young. Bochy will be heartened, then, to know that Suarez is not too young to understand when you need to go back to the drawing board.

"I just wasn't very good today," the 25-year-old said quietly after an 11-2 loss to the Astros.

Suarez knows what the issue is. He missed repeatedly to his glove side, leaving fastballs and sliders across the heart of the plate against a tough and deep lineup. After giving up five runs in four innings, Suarez went to the film room. He's hoping to fix the mechanical flaw before his next start, a tough assignment at Coors Field.

"I'm jumping toward the plate instead of staying back," he said. "I'll keep looking at film and figure it out."

There wasn't much else for the Giants to look back at on the first of two tough nights in Houston. The bullpen was rocked, turning this one into a blowout, but even Suarez's damage would have been enough against Gerritt Cole. The longtime Pirate has taken the leap since a trade to the Astros, and the Giants managed just two runs off him in six innings. They came off the bat of Brandon Crawford, his brother-in-law, and the hottest hitter in the majors this month. 

Crawford's shot went the opposite way in the fourth inning and landed in the appropriately named Crawford Boxes in left. He had taken a peak in at Cole after a bloop single early, but kept his head down on the homer. In the stands, his father stifled a grin as he recorded the action with his cell phone. Amy Cole, Brandon's sister, was sitting right there. Told that his father seemed to enjoy the moment, Brandon smiled. 

"I'm sure he enjoyed that more than my sister," he said. 

Giants fall short of sweeping Reds, can't overcome four-run first inning deficit

Giants fall short of sweeping Reds, can't overcome four-run first inning deficit

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scooter Gennett homered a half-inning after the second baseman saved two runs with a diving catch on a difficult popup, helping the Cincinnati Reds avoid a sweep by the San Francisco Giants with a 6-3 win Wednesday.

Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer in the first, and Matt Harvey went four innings in his second start since joining the Reds from the Mets. Reliever Jared Hughes (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings as Cincinnati won for the seventh time in nine games.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Gennett somehow chased down a popup by pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez along the right-field line near the visiting bullpen - scissoring his legs over right fielder Scott Schebler to make the tough, potentially game-saving grab.

The Reds stopped a five-game skid against the Giants and avoided what would have been San Francisco's first three-game sweep of Cincinnati since May 3-5, 2002.

Staked to a 4-0 lead, Harvey nearly gave all of it back. Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double in the first and scored on Pablo Sandoval's sacrifice fly, Brandon Belt homered leading off the third.

Harvey, who pitched four scoreless innings in his Cincinnati debut last Friday, struck out the side in the fourth. He allowed three runs, seven hits and four walks in his first outing against the Giants since June 2015.

Duvall also made a tremendous catch in left-center to steal a likely extra-base and turn Sandoval's drive into a sacrifice fly.

Pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford singled leading off the ninth against Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, who finished the 2-hour, 41-minute game for his eighth save. Crawford, whose hit was his 10th in the past 13 at-bats, ended Iglesias' streak of 17 straight batters retired.

Cincinnati added an insurance run in the fifth on a passed ball that got by backup catcher Nick Hundley.

Giants lefty Andrew Suarez (1-3) allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.

BELT'S POP

Belt homered in a fifth straight game against the Reds, a streak dating to May 13 last year. Barry Bonds had been the previous Giant to clear the fences in five consecutive games vs. one opponent, against San Diego in six straight games from April 12 to June 20 in 2001, according to STATS.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: 1B Joey Votto returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Tuesday with back tightness. He left Monday's game with the back issue. ... RHP Michael Lorenzen, on the disabled list all season with a strained pitching shoulder, allowed one walk in an otherwise clean inning during a rehab assignment for Double-A Pensacola against Biloxi.

Giants: C Buster Posey was off a day after taking a foul tip in the mask - and manager Bruce Bochy had planned to give him a day anyway. "With the hard shot he took last night it makes sense to give him a full day off," Bochy said. ... SS Crawford had a day off to rest before the hit in the ninth. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner used all his pitches during a 30-throw bullpen session and Bochy said "everything went well." Bumgarner will throw again Friday or Saturday then is scheduled to face hitters Tuesday in Houston as he works back from a broken pinkie in his pitching hand.

UP NEXT

Reds: Following an off day at home, RHP Homer Bailey (1-5, 5.59 ERA) makes his team-high 10th start in the opener of a series with the Cubs.

Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.94 ERA) pitches the opener against Colorado in the Giants' first matchup of 2018 with the division rival Rockies. San Francisco has faced the Dodgers 11 times already. "It has been a different schedule," Bochy said.

With Johnny Cueto due for MRI on right elbow, Andrew Suarez throws a gem

With Johnny Cueto due for MRI on right elbow, Andrew Suarez throws a gem

SAN FRANCISCO — Nine innings later, there was little clarity regarding Johnny Cueto. Manager Bruce Bochy said he’ll have more on his hurting ace on Wednesday morning after team doctors have fully examined an MRI. Cueto was put on the disabled list before Tuesday’s game with right elbow inflammation. 

“We’re going to look at the MRI results and decide where we’re at with him,” Bochy said. “Obviously it’s not good news when you have to put him on the DL, but he has felt some soreness there.”

Bochy said Cueto has pitched through discomfort his past two starts, and he credited him with being such a fierce competitor. Cueto ended the month of April with an MLB-leading 0.84 ERA. He dealt with flexor discomfort in the same elbow last season but returned to pitch down the stretch. 

Bochy couldn’t give a timetable Tuesday night, saying that’ll be determined by doctors. The manager’s tone indicated he does not expect good news, although that could have been related to the way the Giants lost a few minutes earlier. Hunter Strickland gave up a solo shot in the top of the ninth and the Giants fell 3-2. 

The Eric Hosmer homer brought a bitter end to a concerning day at AT&T Park. The Giants are already without Madison Bumgarner, likely for another six weeks or so, and any extended absence by Cueto could put them in a deep hole in a division that’s threatening to become a boat race for the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

There was one bit of shining light, though. Andrew Suarez stepped in as a spot starter and allowed two runs in seven sharp innings. He needed just 84 pitches to get through his second career start. 

“What a great job he did,” Bochy said. “Seven really solid innings, he pounded the strike zone, and was really efficient. He had good stuff. The fastball, he spotted it well. A good breaking ball and good changeup out there with good poise. That’s really encouraging to see, especially now with Johnny on the DL.”

Suarez did not know about Cueto’s condition until after the game. He expected to be up here for just one day, but it should now be a lock that Suarez is on an upcoming three-city road trip. He’ll need to fill in for Cueto at least a couple of times. The Giants hope it’s nothing beyond that.