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Giants continue slide with loss to Mets
Melky Cabrera slides to the plate after a sacrifice fly from Hunter Pence in the fourth inning for the San Francisco Giants lone run against the New York Mets on Thursday. - photo by Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Buster Posey has a six-game hitting streak, the only Giants batter who has hit safely in more than two straight games.

He was on the bench Thursday when San Francisco lost its seventh in eight games, a 9-1 rout by the New York Mets.

"A lot of times when you think you are going into a rut, you try to press and do too much," Giants starter Barry Zito said. "That's when you get farther in it. As a team, we have to trust ourselves. We've been on top most of the season and we just have to be ourselves."

The Giants have been held to one run or less in four of their last eight games, and have three or fewer in six of them.

They are hitting .164 (9 for 55) with runners in scoring position over that span, and have stranded 49 runners. The Giants have only hit two home runs at home since hitting two from June 26-29.

"We've been awful here this last week," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're in a rut right now and it's not fun. We have to get it going. Hopefully we can hit the road and get it going again."

Ronny Cedeno drove in five runs to match his career high, Jason Bay had only his second multi-RBI game this year as the Mets took three of four from the Giants and won their first series in a month.

New York took a 4-0 lead against Zito (8-8) in the first on Bay's two-run single and Cedeno's two-run double. Chris Young took care of the rest.

"This is the same team that went on a massive skid and came in here and took three of four from a first place team," Bay said. "It is frustrating because it's there sometimes and it's not other times."

Young (3-5) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked none. He had been 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts since winning at the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 28.

Hunter Pence had a fourth-inning sacrifice fly for San Francisco, which has lost seven of eight since opening a three-game NL lead over the Dodgers on July 25. Melky Cabrera was a home run shy of a cycle.

Zito gave up seven runs, six hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings. San Francisco pitchers walked six in the game and 19 in the series.

"I had a couple of quick outs and then a couple of walks and that was the difference," Zito said. "You have to bear down and put them away. I was fighting myself a little bit."

Zito has an ERA of 8.10 in the first inning.

NOTES: The Giants are sending RHP Ryan Vogelsong (8-5, 2.22) to the mound in Colorado on Friday night. The NL ERA leader has never lost to the Rockies in 10 appearances. ... Giants C Buster Posey, given the day off, has 19 RBIs since the All-Star break. ... The Giants activated RHP Shane Loux and C Hector Sanchez from the disabled list after optioning OF Justin Christian and C Eli Whiteside to Triple-A Fresno.