SAN FRANCISCO -- A 7-4 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday lasted three hours and 14 minutes and was on pace to be much longer through the first four innings. Still, Chris Heston ended up regretting the fact that he didn't slow it down just a bit more.
Heston felt the game sped up on him a bit in the third, when the Pirates reached base six times and scored four runs. The rookie right-hander wouldn't make it out of the fourth.
"I've got to slow myself down and take a step back and breathe and go back to attacking guys," Heston said. "After it's over, it's easier to think about things. I wish I would have just taken a breath there and gotten back to attacking guys."
Bruce Bochy saw the same thing from the dugout, and it didn't totally surprise him. Heston is, after all, in just his third month as a big league starter. As good as he has been, Heston has shown that the big inning can get him. It's been a problem over the last few weeks as Heston's numbers have tailed off.
"That's an area he's going to get better at with experience," Bochy said. "You stay out of the big inning and limit damage. He just had trouble stopping that inning. Sometimes you've got to slow things down."
The Giants spent most of May enjoying the big innings, but on this homestand they've been missing the big hits. They're 2 for 21 in two losses to the Pirates and have left 15 on base.
"If we needed a hit, not too long ago we got it," Bochy said. "It seems like they go in streaks. Those two-out hits are hard to get. That's what wins ballgames for you, those timely hits."
The Pirates got several of them. Pedro Alvarez took advantage of a teetering Heston and knocked a hanging curveball into left for a back-breaking two-run double in the third. Neil Walker's two-out single brought Andrew McCutchen home in the fourth and Jordy Mercer hit a two-out homer in the fifth. McCutchen, as part of a four-hit night, would add a double in the sixth that brought Gregory Polanco around from first. The former MVP has five hits and four RBI in the first two games of this series. His outs have been louder than his hits at times.
"He's seeing it well," Bochy said of McCutchen. "He had a big night and he hit the ball well last night. Good hitters get in that one where they're seeing the ball well. You've got to make your pitch. He got some mistakes and took advantage of it."
--- The Giants have dropped four straight for the first time since that eight-game losing streak. This certainly has proven to be a streaky team.
--- Joe Panik has a hit in 16 straight home games. He's batting .328 during that stretch.
--- Brandon Belt has reached base safely in 18 straight games, the longest active streak in the National League.
--- If you missed it earlier, my story on Tyler Beede getting a promotion.