AT&T PARK — Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir put on a show for a candy corn-colored crowd along San Francisco’s waterfront Thursday afternoon.
Kazmir (W, 11-3, 2.38 ERA) dominated the Giants for seven innings and conceded just three hits and one walk while striking out nine to carry the Athletics to a 6-1 victory and a convincing 3-1 Bay Bridge series win.
Manager Bruce Bochy admired the Athletics ace after the game:
“The guy we faced today has had a heck of a half. He’s on the All-Star team. Other clubs haven’t done a lot with him. Still, we got to figure out a way to plate some runs. It just looks like we’re caught in between as an offensive group.”
Tim Hudson (L, 7-6, 2.87 ERA) just didn’t have it going against the Athletics, a team he’s only faced for five innings in one other game over his 15-year career.
Hudson lasted just 5-1/3 innings and he only escaped one of them without giving up a hit.
The Athletics pummeled Hudson in the sixth.
They led the inning off with a double, home run, double, double and eventually induced the hook for the Giants starting pitcher after four runs made it 6-0.
The home run came off the bat of Josh Donaldson and dented the emerald awning atop the Levi’s Landing. The homer was Donaldson’s 20th of the season.
Hudson recounted the moment when it all went wrong after the game:
“It was a little bit of a weird inning. I really don’t know what to say. It just kind of unraveled on us a little bit. Some innings you make horrible pitches and get away with some stuff. Some innings you make good pitches and they’re able to get in position to score some runs. It was a little bit of a combination of a little bit of both right there.”
Buster Posey said Hudson might have been left pitches a bit more up than usual.
The Giants finally got on the board in the eighth when Pablo Sandoval plated Ehire Adrianza to make it 6-1.
Adrianza had a single and a slick grab on a liner to second in his first game back from the 15-day disabled because of a right hamstring strain.
He was hitting .316 when he swapped places in Triple-A Fresno with Juan Perez.
Hunter Pence singled in the inning and went 2-for-4 in the game, raising his average to .362 (17-for-47) in 11 career games against the Bay Area rivals.
The Giants have lost 19 of their last 23 games at home and have lost the NL West lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Posey spoke bluntly about the team’s struggles in the clubhouse after Thursday’s loss:
“We’re just getting outplayed so we have to figure out how to score more runs than the other team. I think that’s the simplified way of doing it.”
Kazmir had a minor scare in the fifth when he started to deliver a 2-2 pitch to Brandon Hicks. Hicks called for time and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez gave it to him mid wind up.
Kazmir spun around and limped gingerly around the mound with what looked like a groin strain — before finishing off Hicks with a 94 mph fastball.
Hernandez replaced Adrian Johnson in the fourth because Johnson was hit in the mask by a foul tip in the first inning.
The Giants begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night. Tim Lincecum (8-5, 3.91 ERA) will take on righty Mike Bolsinger (1-5, 5.13 ERA). Game time is 7: 15 p.m.
Tim Hudson has lost his last four decisions over a five-game span. His ERA has gone from 1.81 to 2.87 during that stretch. … Hunter Pence recorded his 34th multi-hit game this season, which leads the National League. … Scott Kazmir notched his 11th victory and extended his scoreless innings streak to 13-consecutive frames.