SAN DIEGO — As they struggle to stay alive in the race for a postseason berth, the San Francisco Giants simply cannot figure out the rookie-laden San Diego Padres.
They lost 7-2 on Friday night to journeyman pitcher Edwin Jackson, who held them to four hits in six innings while getting all the backing he needed from All-Star Wil Myers, who hit a three-run home run off rookie Albert Suarez in the first inning.
It was the seventh loss in eight games against the Padres since the All-Star break.
“I wish I could figure it out myself,” said Bruce Bochy, a former Padres skipper who managed the Giants to World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. “We have blown two saves against them, so that’s a big difference. They have pitched well against us, I will say that. We’ve had a hard time scoring runs.”
The Giants swept the Padres three times in the season’s first two months. Things turned dramatically, starting when the Padres swept the Giants in San Diego in the first series after the All-Star break. The Padres, who have gotten younger as the season advanced and they shed high-priced veterans, swept again in San Francisco last week.
The Giants dropped into the second wild card position, a game behind the New York Mets. San Francisco fell to seven games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
The Giants beat the Padres 2-1 on Thursday night but couldn’t get much going Friday.
“With four hits, two runs, we’re down three right away, so obviously that’s not going to make it,” Bochy said. “These bats have just been quiet. We had a great pitching effort yesterday to win the game for us, and found a way to win that one, scratched and clawed for runs. But two big innings got us.”
Finishing the regular season strong will be “critical,” Bochy said. “What’s going to happen is pretty simple — we’ve got to pitch and we’ve got to get these bats going, too. We can’t put this kind of pressure every night on the pitchers. We’ve had a tough time scoring runs here against this club. You look at the last series and this series. We had two last night, two tonight. It’s hard to get on a consistent run without this offense going.”
Jackson (5-6) won for just the second time in seven starts. He struck out five and walked five.
“I’m just trying to bounce back,” Jackson said. ” I wish I could have less walks. They kind of cost me in the fifth inning, walked a couple, then Posey comes up and got a big hit, but nevertheless, all in all, some decent game of bounce back,. We’re always hard on ourselves, but it was great to have the offensive support and see the young guys come up and get first hits and see the excitement in the dugout, it was definitely a lot of fun and it makes the game fun.”
Suarez (3-5) fell behind 3-0 before recording an out. Jon Jay hit a leadoff single, rookie Carlos Asuaje doubled for his first big league hit and Myers homered into the party deck just beyond the fence in right-center, his 28th.
Buster Posey pulled the Giants to 3-2 with a two-run double off the wall in left-center with one out in the fifth.
But Giants reliever Matt Reynolds came on to start the bottom of the fifth and allowed four runs without getting an out. He allowed a leadoff single to Jay, a double to Asuaje and then intentionally walked Myers before walking Ryan Schimpt to bring in a run. He was chased by Alex Dickerson’s two-run single to right. George Kontos came on and got the first out before Austin Hedges hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
Suarez allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, struck out one and walked one.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto, who left his start Tuesday night with a strained groin, was scheduled to play catch before the game. His spot in the rotation comes up Sunday. Bochy said Cueto is questionable to make the start. … SS Brandon Crawford (dislocated pinky on his glove hand) also was to play catch and if that went well, take some dry swings.
Giants: On Saturday night, LHP Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.57) will try to become the third-youngest pitcher in franchise history to win 100 games. He’s 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts against San Diego this year, but is 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his last two starts against the Padres.
Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-4, 5.63) is scheduled to make his ninth start with San Diego.