ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS/AP) — After the San Francisco Giants let another one-run game get away to Tampa Bay, manager Bruce Bochy decided it’s time for a new batting order.
“We’re going to have to change this up,” Bochy said after a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Rays that concluded a 3-3 road trip. “We’re not getting any production from our lead-off hitters. We’re definitely going through a tough time and we’re going to change things up here a little bit.”
The changes will start Monday with either Marco Scutaro or Hunter Pence leading off against the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.
Pence, who is hitting .393 in 16 games since the All-Star break, is very receptive to the idea of leading off.
“I like leading off,” he said. “I feel pretty fast on the base paths right now and it’s fun to lead off an inning, have a chance to spark something. I think it would be something to get on base in front of Scutaro and Pablo [Sandoval] and [Buster] Posey, maybe generate some spark.”
Wil Myers homered and four relievers allowed one hit over 4¹⁄³ scoreless innings to help the Rays hand the Giants their 10th loss in 14 games, pushing their deficit in the NL West to 12 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants had a chance for a successful trip before losing two one-run games against the Rays in less than 24 hours.
“It is [disappointing] to come in here and lose two tough ones like this, especially with the little things that got us,” Bochy said. “We had a chance to add on runs a couple times. We couldn’t do it, and those things usually come back to haunt you.”
Guillermo Moscoso gave up three runs in 4 2-3 innings in his first start for the Giants. Mososco recovered well from Myers’ two-run home run, but he walked four.
“I had two leadoff walks and they scored two runs,” he noted.
A third leadoff walk was issued by reliever Jose Mijares in the sixth inning, and this one was the Giants’ undoing. Mijares (0-3) walked Yunel Escobar, who moved up on a ground ball and scored the winning run on Sam Fuld’s two-out single.
“For some reason, we’ve walked too many leadoff guys and it’s come back to haunt us,” Bochy said.
Both of Tampa Bay’s runs in Saturday night’s 2-1, 10-inning decision were the results of leadoff walks.
Brandon Crawford drove in two with a triple off Hernandez as the Giants grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Evan Longoria, mired in an 0 for 19 slide, pulled the Rays even at 3-3 on a run-scoring single during the fifth.
Moscoso’s start was in place of Barry Zito, who was moved to the bullpen. It was his first start since last Aug. 15 while with Colorado.
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