Bay Area Baseball

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July 6, 2013
Bochy after Giants' 10-2 loss: 'Sometimes you get humbled'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Cain was asked after the Giants' 10-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday night if he'd go back and watch the game on film to pinpoint any specific issues.

"You try to really not watch any part of this one," Cain said.

Across the board, the Giants are going to want to forget this one as soon as possible. Cain matched his shortest outing since 2009, allowing eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. The Giants went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded five men in the first three innings alone. Juan Uribe nearly hit for the cycle while becoming the first player in AT&T Park history to drive in seven runs in a game -- and he was missing the single.

There seemed to be a fair amount of optimism around the Giants before the game, being back home after the 1-8 road trip -- they're still a .600 team at AT&T Park this season -- with Cain throwing and the normal buzz generated by a visit from the Dodgers. But the same anemic offense from the trip reared its head, Cain -- who had allowed a combined seven runs in his previous five starts -- couldn't put hitters away after the first inning, and the Giants continue to find new depths at a season-high seven games under .500.

Manager Bruce Bochy was asked afterward if he's at all close to a "breaking point," and he gave a long answer about standing behind the guys in the clubhouse. Bochy said that at this point players are probably trying too hard to be the guy who comes through with the big hit or the shutdown outing that turns things around. The Giants have lost 15 of 19 and scored two or fewer runs in 11 of their last 14 games.

"I feel for them," Bochy said. "I know they're tired of it. It's a tough time right now. But you have to look at the time that's left, how much baseball is left, and stay behind these guys. And that's what we're doing."

They don't have much of a choice. The Giants made a move before the game hoping to kick-start the offense that consisted of swapping Juan Perez for Cole Gillespie. Gillespie went 0-for-4 playing left field Friday night -- Carl Crawford did take away a hit from him in the seventh with a diving catch -- and tried to make a diving play on Juan Uribe's liner in the third that got past him for a three-run triple that knocked Cain out of the game.

Cain agreed it's possible players are pressing. "When things aren't going right everybody wants to be that guy to get something going and get things started in the right direction," he said. "You just need to find a way to get things going the right way again."

* Cain needed seven pitches to get through a 1-2-3 first inning. He threw 68 more and got four more outs. He allowed six hits and walked four.

"I got ahead of guys, then didn't finish them off and ended up making bad pitches to them for them to get hits," Cain said.

Cain had two strikes on both hitters he walked in the second inning and on both A.J. Ellis and Uribe in the third before both recorded RBI hits. He credited the Dodgers lineup with "not missing pitches when they can't afford to. ... When things are going good, that's what's happening."

Things had been going well for Cain, who came in with the third-lowest ERA in baseball since June 2. Friday, though, was the fourth time already this season he has allowed at least seven runs in a start. The last Giants pitcher to do so four times was Jonathan Sanchez in 2008.

"He just got out of sync and couldn't get back on track," Bochy said. "He battled himself pretty much. It happens."

It does, but this was a night when the Giants really needed Cain to be Cain -- the pitcher who hadn't lost a decision to the Dodgers in his previous 11 starts against them. Instead he handed the ball to Bochy with one out in the third inning, down 7-1 already, and the Giants now look to Madison Bumgarner tomorrow to help them stop this skid.

* Neither starting center fielder made it through the entire game. Andres Torres left in the fourth inning with a right calf cramp. Bochy said Torres should be available tomorrow.

Matt Kemp appeared to hurt his left shoulder on a swing in the second inning. He walked away from the plate wincing and was checked by a trainer. Kemp stayed in to finish the at-bat but was later replaced by Carl Crawford, and the Dodgers announced Kemp left the game with irritation in the AC joint of his left shoulder. They said afterward that Kemp had a cortisone shot and will not be available Saturday.

Gregor Blanco replaced Torres and went hitless with two strikeouts in three at-bats. He's now hitless in his last 25 at-bats. Brandon Crawford, meanwhile, extended his own hitless streak to 23 at-bats before singling off Brandon League in the ninth.

* The Giants' lone hit in their last 24 at-bats with runners in scoring position belongs to ... Tony Abreu, who drove in Brandon Belt from second base with a single in the seventh inning Friday.

Maybe no inning was more frustrating for the Giants in this game -- or highlighted those struggles better -- than the third. With one out, Marco Scutaro singled and Pablo Sandoval doubled off the right-field wall for his second hit in 32 at-bats. But Buster Posey popped out to second baseman Mark Ellis and Hunter Pence took a called third strike to end the inning.

* Uribe, meanwhile, came up with the bases loaded in both the second and third innings and drove in five runs with a double and triple. He added a two-run homer off Michael Kickham in the seventh to tie his career-high with seven RBIs.

"We didn't fool him at all really today," Cain said.

Really the only intrigue left in this game in the late innings was Uribe coming up in the ninth needing the single for the cycle. He struck out against Jake Dunning.

* Uribe's home run sent a good portion of the sellout crowd heading for the exits. Oddly enough, those who remained broke out in a "Beat L.A." chant in the bottom of the inning -- with the Giants down by eight. Instead, the Giants dropped to a season-high 5 ½ games behind the first-place Diamondbacks in the West.

* It's a weird start time Saturday -- 4:15 p.m., with Bumgarner (8-5, 3.08) facing Dodgers right-hander Stephen Fife (3-2, 2.83). Back in a matter of hours.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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