SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are looking for something, anything, to give them a spark after a second consecutive losing homestand dropped them out of first place in the NL West.
“We’re too good to have a homestand like this,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after watching his team drop a 7-2 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, ending a 2-8 run at home. “I don’t think anybody saw this coming. We know it’s unacceptable.”
Since sweeping a series against the New York Mets at home June 6-8, the Giants have won just three of 17 home games.
Tim Lincecum won both games of the homestand, needing a no-hitter and a shutout to secure the wins.
“You’d like to see things turn around quicker than they are,” said Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. “We’ve shown signs. You’re going to have adversity every year and you have to keep grinding it out. You can’t give in, you keep pushing forward.”
Bumgarner (9-6) dropped to 0-3 over his past four home starts after allowing five runs — four earned — on six hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Whatever could go wrong for the Giants, did go wrong, starting with Peralta’s two-run homer in the first inning.
Things got worse in the fourth, when Bumgarner could have escaped without giving up a run if first baseman Adam Duvall hadn’t thrown the ball into left field while trying for the first out of a double play on a routine grounder.
Jon Jay followed with an RBI double and Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez (2-3) hit a two-run single for a 5-1 lead.
“I made a mistake to Peralta in the first inning and that put us in a hole early,” Bumgarner said. “It just wasn’t happening. I wish I had the answers.”
Bumgarner’s third-inning single drove in a run for the Giants, who have lost 17 of their past 22 games.
“There’s a time when you have to say enough is enough and that’s where we are,” Bochy said. “Part of it is getting mad at what happened here and do something about it. You can’t wait for someone else to do it.”
The Cardinals added runs in the sixth on pinch-hitter Shane Robinson’s triple and in the seventh on Oscar Taveras’ fielder’s choice grounder.
Matt Carpenter continued ripping Giants pitching, extending his hitting streak against them to 11 games with a 2-for-4 effort. He has a .519 (28-for-54) career average against the Giants and has hit safely in 18 of his 20 games, including the postseason, against them.
The Giants loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Martinez got Buster Posey to swing at a third strike to end the threat.
In the sixth, Tyler Colvin walked, Duvall singled and Brandon Crawford punched a single into right field to get the Giants to 6-2.
Notes: Duvall was optioned to Triple-A Fresno after the game to make room for Brandon Belt’s return on Friday. … Giants infielder Joe Panik batted second, where he hit for Triple-A Fresno, as Bochy tweaked the lineup. “He has some sense of comfort there,” Bochy said. … Outfielder Hunter Pence hit leadoff and outfielder Gregor Blanco was dropped to eighth. … Infielder Marco Scutaro continues to make progress and, if he’s fine after playing for the second straight day for the Arizona Rookie League Giants, he could be elevated to Fresno by Sunday. … Right-hander Matt Cain (1-6, 4.38) pitches for the Giants when they open a three-game series at San Diego on Friday. He’s 7-13 lifetime against the Padres.