SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore tossed the ball as well as he had all season Monday — when he was throwing overhand.
A 10-day break appeared to be all that the Giants left-hander needed to wipe the slate clean on a dismal first half, but his best start in nearly a month was spoiled by a fifth inning error that opened the door to a 5-3 Cleveland Indians win at AT&T Park.
With the Giants leading 3-1 in the fifth, Moore knocked down a ground ball to the pitcher’s mound with a runner on second. Then, he sailed an underhand lob over the head of first baseman Jae-Gyun Hwang from halfway in between the mound and first, sending the ball toward the Indians bullpen as Giovanny Urshela scored. The next batter, Francisco Lindor, tied the game by driving in Bradley Zimmer from second with a soft line drive to center.
Poor defense reared its head again in the sixth, allowing the Indians to take a 4-3 lead. This time, Jose Ramirez scored from second after Hwang threw a sacrifice bunt attempt by Brandon Guyer into right field, past an outstretched Joe Panik.
As a result, Moore (3-10) became the first Giants pitcher since Ryan Vogelsong in 2011 to lose five-straight starts at home even though he reached the seventh inning for just the third time in his last 14 starts, surrendering two earned runs on four hits.
The only Indians hitter to reach base in the first three innings was catcher Yan Gomes, who homered to left after Moore grooved a 93 mph fastball right down the middle of the plate.
Moore, who entered the game with the second-highest ERA (6.04) in the Majors, was on track to pick up his first home win since May 13 when the Giants handed him a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
The Giants used instant replay to their advantage in the third, overturning a call at the plate after Panik appeared to have been thrown out on a Gorkeys Hernandez double to the left field corner. But the replay showed that Panik’s foot slid under Gomes’ glove as he was reaching forward to apply the tag.
Then, Moore helped his own cause by singling in Hernandez. The Giants added a third run in the after Brandon Crawford smacked a double off the top of the bricks in the deepest part of the yard in right-center, bringing in Buster Posey from first.
After the Indians jumped ahead in the sixth, the Giants bats went silent as the Indians bullpen retired 12-consecutive batters. The Indians added a run in the ninth.
— Brandon Belt expects to rejoin the Giants lineup Tuesday after missing two-straight games with a right wrist injury.
Belt took ground balls in the infield Monday and he can throw the baseball without experiencing significant pain.
“It made a lot of improvement today,” Belt said. “If it makes as much of an improvement tomorrow as it did today, I’ll play, I’m guessing.”
— The Giants sellout streak of 530-consecutive games ended Monday as just 39,538 fans purchased tickets for the team’s interleague clash with the Indians. The streak started on Oct. 1, 2010.
— Speaking of streaks, Eduardo Nunez’s streak of reaching base in 33-consecutive games ended Monday as he went 0 for 4. The streak is longest in the Majors this season.
— Ryder Jones will start a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday.
Jones was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 4 (retroactively) with a right wrist contusion.
The rookie third baseman has one hit in 21 at bats since he made his Major League debut on June 24.
— The Giants have reached an agreement pitching prospect Jack Conlon, a 2017 fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles passed on the opportunity to sign the right-handed pitcher out of Clements High School in Sugarland, Texas after he failed the team’s physical, making him a free agent.
Conlon’s deal with the Giants is contingent on him passing a physical test.
— Gorkeys Hernandez isn’t the longterm solution to the Giants left field problems, but he is providing some short-term stability.
When Austin Slater went down with a right groin strain on July 8, the Giants manager was talking about dividing the team’s left field duties between Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson.
Instead, he’s penciled Hernandez into left in four-consecutive games since the All-Star break. The 29-year-old outfielder entered Monday’s game with a .339 batting average since June 1, including a 4 for 4 performance Friday.
He collected a double and a single on Monday.
“His at bats have been pretty good. It’s good to have that defense out there, too,” Bochy said.
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