CINCINNATI -- Bruce Bochy spoke cordially, even calmly after the Giants' 2-1 loss to the Reds on Friday at Great American Ball Park. Yet there was an edge to his voice that conveyed distinct unhappiness.
The Giants lost a tight game as Phillip Ervin homered off Ray Black to lead off Cincinnati's half of the 11th inning. Black pitched a scoreless 10th, joining a quintet of relievers that limited Cincinnati to two hits over 5 2/3 innings.
But the Giants' offense remained virtually mute. Andrew McCutchen and Joe Panik accounted for five of San Francisco's eight hits. Before the game, Giants hitters and coaches convened for a meeting that ideally would have cleared heads, improved attitudes and sharpened swings. But on Friday night, it didn't appear to make much difference.
"It's getting to the point where it's almost borderline ridiculous how often we're getting shut down, considering this lineup," Bochy said.
It's a lineup that can feature as many as seven All-Stars on a given day: Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, Hunter Pence, McCutchen and Panik. Yet San Francisco has scored two or fewer runs in eight of its last 21 games and three runs in five games during this stretch. The club is 3-10 in those games. When the Giants score four runs or more, they're 47-14.
The heart of the lineup isn't finding much success. The Giants' third through sixth hitters went 1-for-18 on Friday. In Wednesday's series finale at Los Angeles, they were 1-for-20.
"We talked about it so many times: this offense has just got to get going," Bochy said. "They're better than this. We're just getting shut down, and that's the issue. You're staying positive that we're going to get out of this, but it's frustrating. No question about it. We have some good hitters up there, but right now we're in a serious funk. We're having a hard time getting out of it. I know they talked today, and you give their pitching credit, but we've been in this for a while."
"The pitching's been really good all year and especially good as of late," Posey added. "Offensively, we have to be better, plain and simple."
Bochy has shuffled the batting order on multiple occasions, but no combination has proven to be effective.
"You see the lineup. They're experienced veterans, good hitters," Bochy said. "You look at their resume, and we're staying positive. We're going to come out of this. It's just frustrating. You're running into good pitching, but at the same time, you get one run, and you're in extra innings."
Posey pointed out that improvement does not hinge on Bochy.
"It's on us," Posey said. "We've got to find a way. It's as simple as that."
Making his debut as a Giants starter with his father, Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, watching from the other dugout, right-hander Casey Kelly repeatedly pitched out of jams. He lasted only 4 1/3 innings but allowed just one run despite yielding nine hits and walking one.
• Kelly shares midgame salute with father
It was the first start since 2016 for Casey Kelly, who got the call in place of Dereck Rodriguez. Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day DL with a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
HE SAID IT
"We've got a decent crew, [and] they didn't come to see me." -- Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, whose son, Casey, started for the Giants with his mother, brother, sister and fiancee in the stands
Video: [email protected]: Kelly whiffs DeSclafani for 1st K in the 2nd
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Giants benefitted on all three reviews in Friday's game.
First, they received a break in the fifth inning, when Cincinnati's Jose Peraza was ruled out on a steal attempt at second base. The Reds challenged, but a replay review confirmed the call on the field. Scooter Gennett followed with a single that would have scored Peraza to cut the 1-1 tie.
Three innings later, Mason Williams was ruled safe at first base after tapping a grounder to third base. However, the ruling was overturned as first baseman Belt kept his toe on the bag.
Finally, the Giants prolonged their half of the 10th inning when a review overturned an out call at first base on Gorkys Hernandez, who hit into a fielder's choice.
The Giants will turn to Madison Bumgarner (4-4, 2.71 ERA) for Saturday's 4:10 p.m. PT game at Great American Ball Park. San Francisco owns a 6-7 record overall when Bumgarner starts but has gone 2-4 on the road in those matchups. Bumgarner has maintained his All-Star form lately, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in his last six outings. He'll be opposed by Cincinnati right-hander Matt Harvey (5-7, 5.19).