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Bochy wants 'sense of urgency' from Giants

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

DENVER -- The Giants have resorted to tinkering with the outfield, which is something their decision-makers said they wouldn't do as this season approached.

Now the season has begun, and it has begun for the Giants more dreadfully than even the harshest critic might have predicted. San Francisco's woes continued Sunday with an 8-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies that followed a familiar theme: A near-total lack of offense accompanied by flimsy starting pitching.

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DENVER -- The Giants have resorted to tinkering with the outfield, which is something their decision-makers said they wouldn't do as this season approached.

Now the season has begun, and it has begun for the Giants more dreadfully than even the harshest critic might have predicted. San Francisco's woes continued Sunday with an 8-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies that followed a familiar theme: A near-total lack of offense accompanied by flimsy starting pitching.

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And it included adjustments in the outfield, with Brandon Belt starting in left field for the second time since the start of the 2016 season. With left-hander Kyle Freeland starting for Colorado, Bochy wanted an extra right-handed bat in the lineup, so he stationed Buster Posey at first base and Nick Hundley behind the plate while Belt moved to left. Belt had a long run for a fifth-inning pop fly he couldn't wrangle, but otherwise the results of his appearance were inconclusive.

"He was all right," Bochy said.

The skipper was much more sharp-tongued about his ballclub overall. Pick a fact, any fact: The Giants have lost six of their last seven games; their 6-13 mark matches their worst through 19 games in franchise history; and they own the National League's worst record.

"I don't want these guys to feel pressure because we're not scoring a lot of runs and right now there's nothing clicking," Bochy said before shifting gears. "Let's be honest. It's been a rough start and we're not very good right now. I'm not saying we're not very good -- we are good, but we have to find a way to come out of this."

Bochy added, "What you have to be careful of is you can't let any kind of complacency set in and say, 'It's early. We'll be OK.' I don't want to hear that, either. We have to come out with some sense of urgency. All these games are important. You have to stay away from that attitude, too."

A few minutes later, unaware of Bochy's remarks, Giants starter Jeff Samardzija said, "Obviously it's still really early, so I don't think we need to do anything different. Play a little smarter, play a little cleaner and get back to Giants baseball, which is why we've been so successful. Get on base, get him over, get him in, 1-2-3 innings out of the pitchers, so it can be done in all facets."

The Giants mastered none of the game's facets in their Coors Field series finale. Freeland worked seven dominant innings, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced. That has been a typical pattern for the Giants, who are tied for 12th in the league in scoring.

"First-pitch strikes were a huge thing today. You automatically get ahead, so they're immediately on their heels," Freeland said. "You want to get ahead and stay ahead, especially with the lineup that the Giants have."

However, it was the Rockies' lineup that proved to be more impressive. Their five-run outburst in the sixth inning finished Samardzija, whose ERA climbed to 7.40 -- blending with the Major League-high 5.02 ERA compiled by Giants starting pitchers.

Already, the Giants have tried virtually everything to spark improvement.

"There's only so much you can do," Bochy said. "These are our guys and they've been through this."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants