Bochy expects more from Giants at home
Difficulty scoring runs has led to losing record at AT&T Park this season
LOS ANGELES -- The coming week's schedule offers the Giants an opportunity to shine. However, based on the team's performance this year, they must strive not to stumble.
Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Giants have a six-game homestand pitting them against National League West brethren San Diego and Colorado, both sub-.500 clubs. But the Giants' 17-18 home record and 18-19 mark within the division -- excluding Sunday's series finale against Los Angeles -- leave them with considerable room for improvement.
"We have to get better. There's no getting around it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday. "It's hard to explain. It kind of surprises you. We've got to do something about it. We better. As much as anything, pitching wasn't quite as tight, but we've got to find a way to score some runs. We're getting shut down too much at home. Here at Dodger Stadium, this is more of a pitchers' park, and we find ways to put some runs on the board."
Asked whether the Giants' struggles at home might have become psychological, he replied, "I certainly hope not. We've had enough success there, it shouldn't be."
San Francisco has recorded six consecutive winning seasons at AT&T Park.
As Bochy mentioned, offense is the issue for the Giants. They entered the series finale against the Dodgers averaging 5.2 runs per road game, second in the Majors behind only Toronto. San Francisco also led the Majors in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage on the road.
This is the same team that scored three runs in the first four games of its previous homestand until last Tuesday's 6-2 victory over Seattle, which ended the Giants' nine-game AT&T Park losing streak. The Giants are averaging exactly three runs per game at home, ranking last among NL clubs, and are tied for last in the NL with 19 homers at home.
Bochy nevertheless expressed optimism that the Giants can become "more of the club we are" at home. He pointed out the offense has adjusted to losing right fielder Hunter Pence, who was sidelined with left wrist tendinitis in early June.
The Giants' records against San Diego (3-4) and Colorado (3-6) have typified their overall performance against NL West rivals. San Francisco's division struggles would be more pronounced if it weren't for their dominance of the Dodgers thus far.
• Jake Peavy's return to the Giants' starting rotation appeared even more imminent after he allowed one run and five hits in six innings in an injury rehabilitation outing for Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday.
"I'd say it's a very good chance that was his last start there," Bochy said.
Exactly how the Giants will adjust their roster to accommodate Peavy, who has recovered from a back injury, remains a mystery. Matt Cain's not far behind Peavy, as his 6 2/3-inning outing Saturday for Sacramento indicated. Cain allowed two runs and five hits while striking out six and, significantly, walking none. Bochy said Cain likely will make one more rehab start to reaffirm that he has overcome his flexor tendon injury.
• Bochy said he was "hopeful" that left fielder Nori Aoki (right ankle bruise) can rejoin the lineup Tuesday.
"He said that he's feeling a lot better, but he's still pretty sore," Bochy said of Aoki, who was hurt when he was hit by a pitch Saturday.