SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Suarez has been rolling in the past month, with the rookie southpaw becoming a key cog in the Giants' rotation. But he ran into a hot A's club on the day before the All-Star break, as the A's handed Suarez and the Giants a 6-2 loss
SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Suarez has been rolling in the past month, with the rookie southpaw becoming a key cog in the Giants' rotation. But he ran into a hot A's club on the day before the All-Star break, as the A's handed Suarez and the Giants a 6-2 loss on Sunday at AT&T Park.
The Giants will head into the break suffering a home series loss for the first time since April -- they had gone 10-0-2 in their last 12 home series -- after dropping two of three to the A's. They still own the third-best home record in the National League (31-19) and remain within striking distance in the NL West.
But the offense managed just two runs -- the 36th time this season the Giants have been held to two runs or fewer -- and again did not provide much for Suarez, who has received three or fewer runs of support in 12 of his 16 starts this season.
"If you're giving up four or five [runs], hopefully you can get out there and put some runs on the board," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't have a lot of threatening going on today. That was frustrating."
Suarez entered the day having allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last six starts -- sporting a 2.00 ERA during that stretch -- and one run in each of his last four outings. His 3.75 ERA prior to Sunday was the second lowest by a Giants lefty before the All-Star break since 1958. But the A's rocked him with a four-run fourth inning that consisted of a walk, four consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly.
"They're a tough lineup," Suarez said about an A's offense that ranks fifth in the AL in runs. "They're aggressive. They're patient as well. It's tough to pitch them. You've got to change your sequences and things like that."
Suarez lasted five innings, his shortest outing since June 13 in Miami, allowing four runs and striking out five. He only gave up four hits, but all of them did damage. After issuing a one-out walk to Jed Lowrie, Suarez gave up singles to Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, the last three knocking in a run as the A's circled the bases. Jonathan Lucroy tacked on a sacrifice fly to give the A's a 4-1 lead.
Suarez said he left some pitches up, but some ground balls just got through. Chapman's hit snuck under the dive of Kelby Tomlinson at second, which could have been an inning-ending double play and kept the deficit at a run. Instead, it added a run and kept the inning going.
"He's been throwing so well," Bochy said. "It started with a walk. That's haunted us in this first half. Those walks have been scoring. The kid's been throwing well, so he just had a bump in the road there in the fourth inning."
The Giants' two runs, both against starter Sean Manaea, were an RBI single by Gorkys Hernandez in the second and a solo homer by Chase d'Arnaud in the sixth that cut into the deficit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bochy said the Giants never threatened, but they did put the leadoff man on base in the eighth against A's reliever Lou Trivino, who threw 36 pitches Friday, when Alen Hanson walked. But the next batter, Pablo Sandoval, bounced into a double play, and the Giants went quietly in the inning.
In the 36 games in which the Giants have scored two or fewer runs, they are 7-29. When they score three or more runs, they are 43-19.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Tomlinson tracked down a shallow pop fly in the top of the seventh inning off the bat of Marcus Semien, sliding to make the catch and end the inning.
HE SAID IT
"I'd say more than anything is just get consistent with putting runs on the board. It stalled again today. ... We need to drive the ball a little bit more. We only have six home runs this month. ... That's what we're missing as much as anything is some power -- not just home runs. We're not driving the ball like I think we can. We're going to have to get some guys hot." -- Bochy
After the All-Star break, the Giants will head across the Bay Bridge to the Coliseum on Friday for another three-game set against the A's. Dereck Rodriguez will get the start for San Francisco. First pitch for Friday's game is at 6:35 p.m. PT in Oakland.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.