Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

By
From page B1 | July 30, 2014 |

By Michael Wagaman

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been quite some time since Giants manager Bruce Bochy heard booing from the home crowd at AT&T Park.

With his club struggling to pull itself out of a deepening funk at the waterfront stadium, the sounds of discontent are growing louder with each game.

Mike Morse hit his 15th home run of the season but that was about all that San Francisco could muster in a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

The Giants have dropped all five games on this current six-game homestand and have lost six consecutive games overall.

Still, it was surprising when a chorus of boos rained down midway through the game.

“The fans … they’re frustrated too,” Bochy said. “You play so well over so long — it’s turned around. I’m sure it’s not easy for them, either. But you can’t be concerned with what’s happening there. You have to do it on the field.”

San Francisco hasn’t done much in its first homestand since the All-Star break.

The Giants have scored five runs over the past five games, with just four extra-base hits.

Morse provided the only highlight when he homered off Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano leading off the second. Beyond that, San Francisco managed a double and four singles.

“We just have to get on a roll again,” said catcher Buster Posey, who had three of the hits. “You have to pitch well, play good defense and hit well. Not even joking — it’s simple. I think sometimes we try and make it harder than what it is.”

Liriano struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season while Josh Harrison and Travis Snider both hit home runs for the Pirates, who moved within one game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A former minor league prospect for the Giants, Liriano (3-7) gave up a home run to Mike Morse but was otherwise stellar while leading the surging Pirates to their eighth win in 11 games. The left-hander allowed four hits, walked one and retired 18 of the final 21 hitters he faced.

Harrison hit a 3-2 pitch from Giants starter Tim Hudson off the facing of the brick wall in right field for his first career leadoff home run. Harrison is hitting .583 (7 for 12) with a double and three home runs over his past three games.

Hudson (8-8) allowed six hits over seven innings and took his sixth loss in the last eight starts.

“We have to keep grinding out and try and get things going in the right direction,” Hudson said. “It’s been tough here as of late. It’s never easy to climb out of a hole.”

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