Pirates stretch Giants skid to six games

AT&T PARK — Home may be where the heart is, but it certainly hasn’t been where the wins are for the  Giants recently.

San Francisco dropped their sixth-straight game — their longest losing streak of the season — looking lifeless yet again in a 3-1 to the Pirates Tuesday night.

The friendly confines of AT&T Park have been anything but to the Giants lately, as they have gone 6-21 in their last 27 home games after starting the season 22-9 at China Basin.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that he has no idea why the Giants have played so poorly at home:

“I wish I had a reason to give you why we are struggling so much here. We’ve had success here, we started out very well on the road trip, you’re thinking ok, (we’ve) got some confidence going and as soon as we got back here we fell back in this rut.”

Their latest tumble has seen the team fall from one and a half games up on the Dodgers on July 24 to now three games behind Los Angeles.

Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

Their losing streak could not have come at a worse time for the Giants, they will need to recover in a hurry to stay in the playoff hunt Bochy said:

“These are critical games all of them, this is an important part of the season for us to hang in there, we have to find a way to get these bats going.”

Losses in all five games of this current stretch marks the first time the Giants have lost the first five games of a homestand since 2000, the first year of AT&T Park.

Bochy said this streak of losses has taken a toll on his team’s confidence:

“We just can’t string together a few hits, it’s tough for these guys believe me, I think they’re pressing a little bit. It’s tough to go through something like this, especially at home.”

Giants starter Tim Hudson (L, 8-8, 2.71 ERA) went seven innings and gave up three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two.

The 39-year-old All-Star’s struggles continued as Hudson is just 1-6 with a 4.32 ERA in his last eight outings after starting the year 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA.

Hudson had trouble keeping the Pirates in the ballpark early, as he gave up homers in each of the first two innings.

Pirates All-Star Josh Harrison led off the game with his eighth homer of the year before Travis Snider turned on a Hudson offering the next inning.

Both Harrison and Snider have been hot of late as Snider is 5-10 with one homer, four RBIs and five runs scored in his last two starts and Harrison is 7-for-12 with three home runs and four RBIs in his last three games.

Hudson would settle down and not allow a run after that, but it was too much for the laboring Giants to overcome.

His pitching counterpart Francisco Liriano (W, 2-7, 3.97 ERA) was dominant, going seven innings while surrendering only one run on four hits and striking out 11.

Bochy said that the quality of pitching they have faced is only part of the problem:

“Give the pitching credit but at the same time, I’ve said this, you have to find a way. The only thing we can do is keep fighting and keep grinding, we have no choice.”

Liriano has been a new pitcher after the All-Star break, going 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his first three starts after the break. Before that he was 1-7 with a 4.72 ERA.

Michael Morse got the Giants on the board in the second inning with a solo shot. It was his 15th home run of the season, but just Morse’s second homer in his last 45 games.

That was all of the runs they could scrape together as the only Giant to get multiple hits was Buster Posey who had three singles.

The lack of any rhythm for their hitters has been what’s plagued them recently, Bochy said:

“Well that’s been one of the problems, we don’t have two or three guys hot, we have one guy, Buster had a good night, but you have to string together a few hits unless you’re hitting the longball.”

The Giants will try to salvage a single win in their six-game homestand to avoid a season-long losing streak tomorrow when Tim Lincecum (9-7, 3.96 ERA) takes the hill against Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.23 ERA).

San Francisco will then get a much-needed day off before they travel to New York to take on the Mets Friday.

Notes

The Pirates have won the last 17 games when scoring in the first inning. … Dan Uggla continues to falter as he is still looking for his first hit in a Giants uniform, he is now 0-for-11 with six strikeouts since being signed. … The Giants’ top position prospect, catcher Andrew Susac, made the first start of his career behind the plate. Susac went 0-for-2 and reached base for the first time in his career on a walk.

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