Giants not panicking despite 1-4 start
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants feel they’ll be fine once they start getting some timely hits.
Aaron Harang pitched six strong innings in his debut with his hometown Padres, who won their home opener 3-1 Tuesday against the skidding Giants.
The Giants, eliminated the Padres from playoff contention on the last day of the 2010 season, have lost four of five games to open the season.
“We felt like we were in all these games, except the last one in LA,” catcher Buster Posey said. “One positive is we are one big hit away from tying it up or going ahead.”
Unfortunately for Posey, he couldn’t come up with what would have been a big hit.
With the Giants leading 1-0, Harang got in trouble in the third inning when he loaded the bases on Miguel Tejada’s leadoff double, a single by starter Madison Bumgarner and Aubrey Huff’s two-out walk. He got out of it when Posey hit a one-hopper back to the mound.
“Right now we are not getting a lot of timely hits on this trip,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s what it’s going to take to win games.”
Bochy said the Giants aren’t panicking.
“We’re not through the first week yet,” he said. “We’re not looking to make any changes yet.”
Harang (1-0) held the Giants to one run on six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two. He joined the Padres as a free agent in the offseason after spending 7 1/2 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. Harang made five straight opening day starts with the Reds. Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in as many chances.
Nick Hundley had three hits for the Padres, who returned home after taking two of three in St. Louis.
The Giants got a quick run when Andres Torres opened the game with a single, stole second and scored on Huff’s grounder for the second out.
The Padres surged ahead 3-1 when they batted around in the bottom of the inning. Jorge Cantu hit a sacrifice fly, Chase Headley drew a bases-loaded walk and another run came in on Chris Denorfia’s dribbler toward the mound that Bumgarner lost the handle on. It was scored an infield single.
“That was a tough inning,” said Posey, the catcher. “He threw a lot of tough pitches. Give the Padres the credit. They were working deep in the counts and fouling off good pitches.”
Bumgarner (0-1) was pulled after allowing Hundley’s leadoff double in the fourth. He gave up three runs on five hits, walked three and struck out two.
After playing a messy series in the field in Los Angeles, the Giants had one defensive gaffe, but it didn’t cost them. After Hundley doubled leading off the fourth, he was caught in a rundown when reliever Guillermo Mota gloved Jason Bartlett’s comebacker and threw to second. Hundley, though, was able to elude the tag of Pablo Sandoval and was safe at third, giving the Padres runners on the corners with one out. They were stranded when Mota retired the next two batters.
NOTES: San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, who’s on the DL with a strained muscle in his left side, played catch. Bochy said the Giants are leaning toward activating Wilson. … Padres skipper Bud Black said ace Mat Latos, on the DL with a sore right shoulder, was fine after Monday’s simulated game. Latos is scheduled to throw two bullpens this week and Black said there’s a good chance he’ll be back in the rotation for a series against Cincinnati that starts Monday night. … Trevor Hoffman, who retired in the offseason, jogged in from the bullpen accompanied by AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” and threw out the ceremonial first pitch to brother Glenn, the Padres’ third base coach. Glenn Hoffman was accompanied by bullpen catcher Mark Merila, a cancer survivor. … Cedric Hunter, pinch-hitting for Harang in the sixth inning, singled to center for his first big league hit.