ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (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 Sunday after a 4-3 loss to the Rays that concluded a 3-3 road trip. “We’re not getting any production from our leadoff hitters. We’re definitely going through a tough time and we’re going to change things up here a a little bit.”
The changes will start today with either Marco Scutaro or Hunter Pence leading off against the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.
Wil Myers homered and four relievers allowed one hit over 4 1-3 scoreless innings to help the Rays hand the Giants their 10th loss in 14 games. 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.
Alex Torres (4-0) started Tampa Bay’s bullpen parade Sunday by replacing Roberto Hernandez with two outs in the fifth and struck out two over 1 1-3 innings. Jake McGee worked a perfect seventh and Joel Peralta left Hunter Pence stranded at second after a two-out double in the eighth before Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
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 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.
Hernandez gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings for the Rays, who have won 25 of 31.
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.”
Gregor Blanco led off twice and Andres Torres once for the Giants in their series against the Rays. They went 1-for-13 and failed to produce a run.
“We’ve talked about Pence going there,” Bochy said. “We’re at a time where it’s time to change because they’re really going through a tough time. We can’t get ‘em on base.”
NOTES: The Giants pitched to a 2.94 earned run average during their 3-3 trip. ... Crawford drove in five of the Giants’ eight runs in the series. .... Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (fractured right hand) allowed one run and five hits over six innings for Double-A Richmond. It hasn’t been decided if he will need one more rehab start. ... Giants CF Gregor Blanco tripped and went down on a knee running back to the dugout after grounding out in the first. ... Florida State University baseball coach Mike Martin threw a ceremonial first pitch. Posey played for the Seminoles. ... The Rays are 30-12 since Myers came up from the minors on June 18.