AT&T PARK — It took five innings for the San Francisco Giants to figure San Diego starting pitcher Jesse Hahn out.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
But by that time it was too little, too late.
The Padres beat up on Tim Hudson (L, 7-4, 2.62 ERA) and pummeled the Giants 7-2 on Tuesday night. The loss was Hudson’s first at AT&T Park this season. And it wasn’t pretty.
Hudson suffered a tough, ERA-punishing outing in Chicago last Wednesday in which he allowed a season-high seven runs and 12 hits in 4-2/3 innings.
A trip home — where the Giants were 7-0 in Hudson’s starts — seemed to be the right remedy to heal the skidding team. But it wasn’t so.
The veteran Hudson gave up nine hits and six runs (four earned) over 5-2/3 innings. He took the brunt of the Padres’ offensive force in the fifth and sixth.
Jake Goebbert singled to start the fifth before Cameron Maybin followed suit. Amarista doubled to right to score Goebbert and Maybin. Grounders by Hahn and Venable eventually brought Maybin home to give the Padres a 3-0 lead.
The Padres would strike again the sixth inning with a leadoff single from Seth Smith and another from Chase Headley.
Yasmani Grandal hit a long single to center, but cutoff-man Crawford threw a perfect ball home to tag Smith out. Despite the heroics, a slew of singles put San Diego ahead 6-1 by the end of the inning and sent Hudson back to the dugout.
Hudson, before today, hadn’t lost a home game since his years with the Braves–a streak that lasted 16 starts. Manager Bruce Bochy noticed that Hudson was off:
“He didn’t have that same sink, they had some good at bats off him…I think that’s the biggest thing with him is that he’s missing his spots a little bit and elevating the ball… He’ll be fine.”
Maybe a streak like that was just too heavy and made its inevitable snap, or perhaps it was a startling reminder that the Giants’ starting rotation is collapsing. The team ERA, which ranked first in the Majors back in May, has fallen to 3.43 and out of the top five.
Over the last ten games, San Francisco has allowed 57 runs, 33 in their last five home games.
Bochy said the recent skid is due to the team’s pitching slump, but he has hope that his rotation will pick up again:
“I think it’s fair to say it’s our biggest issue right now through this tough stretch. It’s that rotation that put us in a good position and we’ve hit a bump in the road with some of them, and it’s going to happen, but it’s important that we come out of it and its going to be our starting pitching that gets us out of this.”
Similar to Monday night, the Giants struggled to figure out the man on the mound, and Hahn, in his fourth career start, took advantage.
Through his six innings, Hahn attacked the strike zone with a decent fastball and a nice curveball that sent eight batters sulking back to the dugout. San Francisco didn’t get a run until the fifth.
Pablo Sandoval hit a leadoff single down the middle and Michael Morse followed with a single to right field that brought Sandoval to third. Tyler Colvin grounded up the middle to bring Sandoval home.
The Giants’ only other run came the next inning when Gregor Blanco singled on a grounder to left and Posey nailed a double down the left field line to bring him home.
But that was all they could do. The Padres’ bullpen collectively allowed just one hit to thwart the offensive progress.
The Giants will look to avoid their first sweep at the Padres’ hands since May of 2010 in the final game of the series Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.
There’s still no word on when Angel Pagan will return to the lineup … Bochy said Brandon Belt will probably start his rehab on Thursday in San Jose, he’ll go in at DH to get some at bats in, but still needs to work on his throwing…Marco Scutaro played three innings in Arizona for his rehab assignment and, according to Andrew Baggarly from CSN Bay Area, went 0-for-2.