SAN FRANCISCO -- For a team that doesn't rely on power offensively, the home run ball has increasingly mocked the Giants during the month of July. The latest example came Monday at normally pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, as the Cincinnati Reds used three two-run homers off Jake Peavy to defeat San Francisco, 7-5, and hand the club its eighth loss since the All-Star break.
The home run theme has been present in almost every one of those defeats. In total, the pitching staff has yielded 19 home runs in its last nine outings, with Peavy allowing five of them. His appearance mirrored Jeff Samardzija's on Sunday, when the right-hander yielded two home runs for the second consecutive start.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the reason for this home run surge against Giants pitchers is simple.
"Just mistakes," said Bochy. "[The batters] aren't missing them. Jake gives up six runs. He only gave up four hits. Three of them left the park."
The Giants have hit more home runs than just two teams in the Majors this season and don't have a single player who has more than 12. The Reds have five individuals with 15 or more, and they displayed "what power will do for you" in the series opener.
Their performance against Peavy left him noticeably irritated afterward. Peavy entered the fourth inning without surrendering a hit, but left the game with an almost identical result as his last start, one in which he allowed just four Red Sox players to reach base -- all of whom scored.
"Hard to describe," said Peavy. "You feel good, you have success, obviously just been trying to put my head around it."
Peavy feels the home runs he's given up in his last two starts may be the product of his mechanics while pitching out of the stretch. Since the All-Star break, every home run he's allowed except one has occurred while the veteran is pitching with runners on base.
It's something Peavy looked at from his start in Boston last Tuesday, and he felt he identified his vulnerability. However, after walking Adam Duvall in the fourth inning, Peavy left a 1-1 curveball for Jay Bruce over the plate, and Bruce blasted it into the right-field arcade.
"Balls out over the plate, those really got me," said Peavy, who left the game in the sixth after allowing another home run to Bruce. "I don't know how much [pitching out of the stretch] played a part. It's certainly something I'm going to look for."
The Giants have surrendered two or more home runs in seven of their last nine contests.
"We just have to find a way to get a quality start here," said Bochy. "We haven't had too many since the break."
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.