Zito hit hard as Padres down Giants
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Barry Zito appeared to be on the right path after returning from a near-season long injury nearly three weeks ago.
But the San Francisco Giants’ left-hander took a giant step backward.
Zito allowed 3-run homers to Jesus Guzman and Orlando Hudson, and couldn’t get out of the fourth inning in the Giants 11-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Guzman connected in the first inning after a pair of walks by Zito (3-2) and Hudson hit his homer in the third to give the Padres a 7-0 lead.
“He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted and his secondary pitches weren’t good,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Between the walks and missing his spots, it got ugly.”
Zito had been solid since he came off the disabled list (right foot sprain) on June 28 after missing more than two months. The lefty was 3-0 with 1.29 ERA in three starts since his return.
But against the Padres, those results went south.
“Just execution,” Zito said when asked what went wrong. “When you execute pitches, guys miss the barrel. You fall behind by not executing. Things get a little more difficult out there.”
Zito, who threw a season-high eight innings in a 2-1 win over San Diego last week, allowed eight runs on seven hits with four walks over 3 2-3 innings.
“When you’re missing like he was early in the game, it just wasn’t there,” Bochy said. “That’s a tough night for him. He’s been throwing so well. You’re going to have these off days and you’ve got to deal with them.”
Rookie Corey Luebke (2-3) pitched seven strong innings to help the Padres snap a season-high seven-game losing streak.
Guzman had a career-high four RBIs for the NL’s worst offensive team.
San Diego, which has scored the fewest runs in the NL and has the league’s lowest batting average, scored its most runs since an 11-2 win against Atlanta on June 24.
It was the first time the Padres hit multiple homers in a game since May 13 at Colorado. The span of 56 games was the longest stretch in the majors since the 1983 Cleveland Indians went 63 games without multiple homers.
The Padres, who had scored just five runs in their previous 65 innings, were 1 for 40 with runners in scoring position before Guzman’s homer.
Luebke, who lost the 2-1 decision to Zito and the Giants last week, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one.
Since joining the starting rotation on June 26, Luebke is 2-1 with 1.50 ERA in four starts.
Zito’s lack of command cost him in the first inning when he issued two walks and hung a breaking ball with two outs that Guzman hit for his second homer.
Guzman singled in another run in the third with two outs and Hudson followed with a three-run home run, his second of the season.
The Padres, who scored just 10 runs during the seven-game losing streak, have scored in double figures only four times this season.
San Francisco scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Ross, Miguel Tejeda’s fourth homer and pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot’s RBI double.
Notes: The Padres had not hit multiple homers in spacious Petco Park since May 4 against Pittsburgh. … San Diego became the last team in the major leagues to reach 50 homers. Toronto’s Jose Bautista leads the majors with 31 home runs. … Padres 3B Chase Headley was out of the starting lineup after suffering a strained right calf that forced him out of Friday night’s game against San Francisco in the first inning. Headley is the club’s leading hitter with a .300 average. … Because Headley is not expected to play, at the earliest, until San Diego starts a road trip Tuesday at Florida, the Padres called up 2B Logan Forsythe from Triple-A Tucson and optioned rookie C Luis Martinez to Tucson. … Giants 2B Mark DeRosa (left wrist sprain) began a rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose and is expected to join Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday.