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Hard-hit balls not enough in Giants' loss to Padres

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija smacked the first pitch of the bottom of the third inning Monday to straightaway center, and on contact it appeared the pitcher might have manufactured his first home run of the season.

Instead, the ball faded into the glove of Padres center fielder Jon Jay about 10 feet from the fence. The play proved to be a frustrating theme on a night when myriad Giants hits died at the warning track in the club's 4-0 loss to San Diego at AT&T Park.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija smacked the first pitch of the bottom of the third inning Monday to straightaway center, and on contact it appeared the pitcher might have manufactured his first home run of the season.

Instead, the ball faded into the glove of Padres center fielder Jon Jay about 10 feet from the fence. The play proved to be a frustrating theme on a night when myriad Giants hits died at the warning track in the club's 4-0 loss to San Diego at AT&T Park.

Full Game Coverage

"Here at night, man, you never know; especially out to center, it's kind of a graveyard out there," said Samardzija, who allowed four runs in six innings. "I knew I hit it good, but it held up."

The Giants seemed to turn a corner offensively during their series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks while averaging 13 hits per game this past weekend. Manager Bruce Bochy cited the difference being the "heart of the order coming through" before the game.

"You see a difference when that happens," said Bochy.

However, back in San Francisco on a chilly night, several players found themselves walking back to the dugout after hitting line drives to the outfield. By night's end, the club managed just five hits and was shut out for the fifth time at home in 2016.

"We've had guys hot and cold since the break," Bochy said. "We have not been consistent with the lineup. It looked like we came out of it there in Arizona.

"Coming from Colorado and Arizona, the ball moves a little different here. I do think that's part of it."

Hunter Pence exemplified Bochy's theory by lining a ball 105 mph, according to Statcast™, to Jay in center field to end the eighth inning. But the ballpark being unfriendly to hitters hardly is new to the Giants.

"Everyone's trying to take the same approach," said Joe Panik, who finished 0-for-3. "It's just one of those things. We hit the ball well; it just didn't turn out the way we wanted it to. That's not an excuse. We've played hundreds of games here; we know how to play here."

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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