SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are scuffling to the point that manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t want them to swing before Sunday’s series finale against San Diego.
Eric Stults and three relievers combined to four-hit the Giants on Saturday night and Everth Cabrera hit a go-ahead triple to lead the Padres to a 3-1 victory.
“We’re all competitive and sometimes when we are not swinging well, we overswing in the cages, we take too many hacks and tire ourselves out,” Bochy said.
“They may be overdoing it. I think if anything, we need to back off. They may be swinging it too much.”
Bochy also said he plans to sit Pablo Sandoval, who is hitting only .171.
The Giants lost their third straight game and have scored only three runs in their last 28 innings. It was the first time in nine games the Giants weren’t involved in a one-run decision.
San Diego has won seven of 10.
Stults (1-2) kept the already struggling Giants off balance and largely off the base paths, allowing one run and three hits in six innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.
Michael Morse homered off Stults on a 2-0 pitch leading off the fifth, his third. Other than that, all the Giants got off the lefty were singles by Joaquin Arias and starter Tim Hudson.
“I knew I hit it pretty good because I was hitting out there in BP,” Morse said.
“Right now, I don’t think we’re pressing,” Morse said. “I don’t think we are trying to do anything out of the ordinary. I just think we hit a rough spot. Our team is too good for us to be stuck in this for too much longer.”
Stults was backed by some nice defense, including center fielder Alexi Amarista’s diving catch of Hunter Pence’s bloop for the second out of the first inning.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his first save.
San Diego’s Yonder Alonso hit an RBI single in the second. Cabrera’s triple to right-center with one out in the fifth scored Amarista, who reached after his bunt single landed between the mound and second base, and advanced on Hudson’s error on a pickoff attempt and Stults sacrifice bunt. Cabrera was thrown out trying to score on Will Venable’s grounder to first.
The Padres added on in the eighth when Will Venable doubled to left, advanced on Grandal’s fly ball and scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia.
Hudson (2-1) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked none.
NOTES: C Buster Posey and LF Michael Morse were back in the Giants’ starting lineup after getting a day off. Both pinch-hit in Friday night’s 2-1 loss. .. Padres 3B Chase Headley was back in the starting lineup after missing three games with a strained right biceps. … Morse’s homer was just the eighth allowed by the Padres this year, tied with Atlanta for lowest in the majors. … The series concludes Sunday when San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum (0-1, 7.20) is scheduled to face Padres lefty Robbie Erlin (1-1, 3.18). Lincecum no-hit the Padres at Petco Park on July 13.