Timely hits eluding Giants as slump continues

Timely hits eluding Giants as slump continues

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Wednesday's series finale against Pittsburgh that his club's performance had "picked up" recently. Most notably, the Giants offense has scored four or more runs in four of their last five games.

That production just hasn't resulted in consistent wins and the Giants were swept by the Pirates after surrendering a four-run lead and falling, 6-5.

Normally, scoring four runs has generated only positive results for San Francisco. The team is 47-19 when that is the case. But, as Bochy has noted, the difference lately has been that the Giants have failed to manufacture "the big timely hit like we did in the first half [of the season.]"

The latest example of that theme occurred in the ninth inning Wednesday, after the Giants loaded the bases with no outs while trailing by two. Buster Posey abruptly hit into a double play and Brandon Crawford flied out to center to seal a Pirates win.

"Today we had a few chances to add on and get a few more runs and we weren't able to do that," said Crawford, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Crawford's RBI triple

"We couldn't ask for more for than what we created there; we just couldn't finish," Bochy said of his team, which has the second-worst batting average (.201) with runners in scoring position in the Majors since the All-Star break.

Despite those numbers, Bochy and Crawford appeared encouraged by the group's recent production at the plate. Crawford, who entered Wednesday just 4-for-his-last-27, hit a pair of extra-base hits. Angel Pagan extended his hitting streak to 15 games while going 3-for-4. And with another multi-hit performance, Posey is now batting .338 in his last 19 games.

"I think we've swung the bat pretty well," Crawford said. "We're doing a good job, we're putting runs up."

Meanwhile, the losses continue to pile up, as the Giants are still searching for their first series win at AT&T Park since early July.

"We better find a way to get out of it pretty soon, we know that," said Bochy.

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.