New kid on the block: Giants get first look at Puig
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants were out-homered 10-1 in their first losing homestand since July of last year, leaving them struggling at a pivotal point in the season.
"I don't think we're pressing," said Buster Posey, who went 0-for-3 in the Giants' 7-2 loss Sunday and 2-for-16 in the four-game set against Miami. "At the same time, we need to crank it up a little bit and play with a sense of urgency."
Manager Bruce Bochy sung a similar tune.
"I think it's critical," manager Bruce Bochy said of the upcoming trip. "We're playing good teams, teams in our division.
"We gotta really pick up our game here. This was a tough way to end this homestand."
The Giants allowed four runs on two home runs in the final frame of the series loss to the Marlins, but the game was decided on a number of key plays in the innings prior to Jean Machi's ninth-inning implosion.
In the sixth inning, with runners at the corners and no outs, the normally sure-handed Brandon Belt let his attention shift toward home plate before securing a routine ground ball from Logan Morrison. The ball trickled into the outfield, allowing the Marlins' third -- and game-winning -- run to score.
"We made a mistake on that ground ball," Bochy said. "We got the perfect ball hit. Belt's so good over there, it just went off his glove. That saves a run."
In the seventh inning, with runners at the corners and one out, Bochy opted to pinch hit for Nick Noonan, sending Joaquin Arias to the plate. After a light line drive down the right-field line landed just outside the chalk, Ryan Webb induced a comebacker to initiate a 1-6-3 double play.
"He's been hot with the bat and that's why he hit there," Bochy explained. "He hits a line drive that's just foul, too. But they got out of it with the double play."
In the eighth inning, Marco Scutaro followed Gregor Blanco's single with one of his own. As the throw from Giancarlo Stanton in right field sailed over the cut-off man, Scutaro broke for second. Blanco was safe at third, but Ed Lucas made the heads-up play to cut down Scutaro trying to advance on the throw.
Instead of first and third with one out, Buster Posey came up with two outs and a runner on third and could not convert.
"That's totally his read," Bochy said. "That was a big play. They executed it and there's not much else to say."
The Giants, who trail the Diamondbacks in the NL West by three games, can take solace in the fact that Arizona faces an equally difficult 10-game road trip visiting the Nationals, Braves and Mets. But San Francisco needs to worry about what's going on in its own locker room.
Bochy acknowledged that the team's rash of injuries might have caught up to them in the series loss to Miami. The Giants managed eight runs over four games against the Marlins, a far cry from their season average of 4.27 runs per game.
"We just couldn't get the bats going," Bochy said.
The team is counting on the return of Pablo Sandoval to do just that. At the very least, his keep-it-light demeanor will ensure Posey's right that the team isn't pressing.