SAN DIEGO -- While interested observers were dwelling on the San Francisco Giants' faulty relief pitching, their offense was starting to go bad. Now it's downright sour, as Friday night's 7-2 loss to the San Diego Padres demonstrated.
Facing erratic right-hander Edwin Jackson, who at times possesses superlative stuff yet entered the game with a 6.00 ERA in 19 appearances, the Giants mustered four hits and both of their runs off him in six innings. San Francisco has scored 12 runs in its past seven games and ranks last in the National League with 23 runs in September.
The Giants (81-73) sank a game behind the Mets (82-72) in the NL Wild Card standings. The Cardinals (80-73) are a half-game behind San Francisco.
"What's got to happen is pretty simple: We have to pitch," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we have to get these bats going, too. We can't put this kind of pressure every night on the pitchers."
Jackson has posted a 2.70 ERA vs. the Giants this season, and he managed to bounce back after losing the strike zone in the fifth and surrendering a pair of runs on Buster Posey's double.
"The walks put him in a bad spot; he elevated a fastball to Posey, got hit for the double," said Padres manager Andy Green. "After those walks -- you know the thing about him is he was able to regroup, go back out for the sixth inning, be quick, efficient, get that inning over with quickly."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Power at Petco:Wil Myers' three-run homer pushed the Padres to 76 home runs at Petco Park this season, which surpasses the previous single-season record of 75 that was set in 2006. In addition, Myers extended his record for most homers at Petco Park in a season to 18.
"Kind of up and down our lineup, what we did well was handle left-handed pitching today," Green said. "... Obviously Wil hit the big three-run home run early. But good seeing some runs scored."
Left in the cold: Giants left-hander Matt Reynolds had thrived lately, pitching 3 1/3 shutout innings spanning his previous three appearances. This time, however, Reynolds retired none of the five batters he faced in the fifth inning and was charged with four runs after the Giants scored twice in their half of the inning to make matters competitive, albeit briefly.
Bochy's strategy was sensible, since Reynolds faced four left-handed batters. But the platoon advantage Reynolds should have enjoyed eluded him.
"He was just a little off tonight," said Posey, the Giants' catcher. "Nothing drastic." More »
Big day for Asuaje: Recently promoted Padres second baseman Carlos Asuaje picked up his first Major League hit with a double in the first inning, and then doubled down with another two-bagger in the fifth inning. After going 0-for-5 through his first two games, Asuaje was in the middle of San Diego's three-run first and four-run fifth inning.
"I tried to keep my wits about me as best I could," Asuaje said after the game. "I didn't want to seem all giddy and all that stuff in front of the guys. They already mess with me enough. So I didn't want to look too happy. But, man, inside it was really good." More »
Suarez's lament: The flip side of Myers' home run, of course, was that Giants right-hander Albert Suarez allowed it. Suarez has yielded three or fewer runs in each of his 12 starts, representing the longest such career-opening streak by a Giants starting pitcher during the live-ball era. But that was a hollow achievement for Suarez, who lasted just four innings.
"One pitch," he said, referring to the first-pitch cut fastball that Myers redirected over the center-field wall. "I probably won't throw it anymore."
WHAT'S NEXT Giants:Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to make what likely will be his next-to-last regular-season start for San Francisco in Saturday's 5:40 p.m. PT rematch against the Padres. Bumgarner, widely considered a moderate Cy Young Award candidate, is one win away from reaching 100 for his career.
Padres:Jarred Cosart takes the ball Saturday at 5:40 p.m. PT, looking to bounce back from his last start, a five-run outing vs. the Rockies at Coors Field. The 26-year-old righty hasn't pitched through the fifth inning in any of his three September starts, with an 11.12 ERA in those games.