Samardzija, power-deficient Giants lose to Padres


SAN DIEGO – The Giants were only outhit 11-9 on Sunday. They received sparkling plays from Gorkys Hernandez in left field and Buster Posey at first base.

But their utter lack of power made all the difference yet again.

The Padres received three-run home runs from Hector Sanchez and Cory Spangenberg against strike-pumping Jeff Samardzija while trotting their way to a 7-1 victory at Petco Park. The Giants dropped two of three to open the unofficial second half. And now they return home for what should be the friendliest portion on the calendar all season.

The Giants will set down their bags while playing 18 of their next 23 games at home, plus two road games at Oakland. They’ll only have one occasion to get on a plane once between now and Aug. 10, for a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

This was the soft landing in their schedule that the Giants eyed in April, when they hit the early skids and Madison Bumgarner flew off his dirt bike. If only they could inch closer to .500 by mid-July, the orange boxes were all lined up in their favor. They could have Bumgarner back and be ready to make their move.

Well, they have Bumgarner back. They have to be encouraged by his seven inning, 102-pitch return on Saturday.

The rest of it? Eh, not so much. And besides, what kind of hope is there in a long homestand? The Giants are 17-24 at AT&T Park. Their pitchers either haven’t benefited from or taken advantage of their supposed home-field edge. The Giants will need a significant turnaround to avoid their first losing home record in a season since 2008.

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