SAN FRANCISCO — Perhaps lost amid the hoopla surrounding the last two wins by the Giants — both walk-offs in extra innings — was that their offense had largely been silenced by the New York Mets’ pitching staff.
The Giants’ bats were mostly held in check again Saturday, and this time, there was no dramatic rally or fluky play in the outfield coming to the rescue.
Looking to go over.500 for first time in over 11 months, the Giants’ seven-game win streak came to an abrupt end in a 11-4 loss to the Mets at Oracle Park.
Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija allowed home runs to Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil and reliever Derek Holland gave up two more to Todd Frazier and Pete Alonso as the Giants fell to 49-50. The Giants have not been above .500 since Aug. 14 of last year.
The two teams wrap up the four-game series Sunday before the Giants host the Chicago Cubs for three games, starting Monday.
The Giants came from behind to win Thursday’s series-opener against the Mets 3-2 in 16 innings, and pulled out a 1-0 victory the following night after the Mets’ Smith, playing left field, dropped a Pablo Sandoval fly ball, allowing Alex Dickerson to score the unearned run.
In both games, the Giants combined for just nine hits off Mets starters Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom over 14 innings.
Saturday, Mets starter Wilson Lockett allowed five hits in five innings.
“It’s been a tough schedule for these guys,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Not taking away from Lockett. He threw the ball well. We had a hard time trying to figure him out.”
Takeaways from Saturday’s game.
1. After long, emotional week, fatigue is setting in: The Giants were playing their ninth game in nine days Saturday, and will not have day off until Thursday after they wrap up the Cubs series.
The Giants played two extra-inning games on their seven-game road trip through Milwaukee and Colorado, and played a combined 26 innings to start their series with the Mets.
The Giants didn’t make an error, and picked up ninth inning home runs from Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski. Still, all of the travel and long days may be starting to add up.
“We’ve had fatigue for most of the week here,” Giants first baseman Brandon Belt said. “When you’re having a good stretch like this, you ride it out as long as you can. We’re putting everything we got into it. Came up short today, obviously. But I think most people are tired right now.
“It has been an unusual week for us, but I think we’ll be just fine.”
2. Samardzija, Holland struggle: Samardzija had been solid for the Giants in his last three starts before Saturday, going 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
But his career-long struggles against the Mets continued, as he allowed four earned runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out seven, but gave up a solo home run to Smith in the second inning and a deep, two-run homer to McNeil in the fifth.
Prior to Saturday, Samardzija had a 0-5 record and a 7.32 ERA in 11 career games — including five starts — against the Mets.
“They were swinging and they ran into a couple,” Samardzija said of the Mets.
Alonso’s homer off Holland in the sixth inning was the loudest hit of the game, a 444-foot bomb with an exit velocity of 113 mph to deepest part of Oracle Park.
“Made some mistakes. He’s been throwing the ball well, but he was off today, too,” Bochy said of Holland. “You’re going to have (bad) days. We’ve been playing so well, and had a bump in the road here. That’s how we have to look at it. Regroup and come out and be ready to go (Sunday).”
3. Another young arm in the starting rotation: Bochy announced Saturday morning that Conner Menez will make his Major League debut Sunday, starting in place of Drew Pomeranz, who is moving to the bullpen.
That’ll make three rookies in the Giants’ rotation, at least for now, as Menez joins Shaun Anderson and Tyler Beede as first-year big league starters.
Pomeranz was solid July 16 against the Rockies, allowing one earned run in five innings in what became an 8-4 Giants win. But Pomeranz, signed by the Giants in January, has largely struggled this season, as he took a 2-9 record and a 6.10 ERA into this weekend’s series.
Bochy said the move — which could be temporary — will give the Giants’ bullpen an experienced left hander. Even though Madison Bumgarner pitched nine innings Thursday and Beede threw eight innings Friday, Giants relievers have been used a considerable amount this week, throwing a combined 29 innings in the last seven games.
The Giants will announce a corresponding move Sunday to fit Menez, a left-handed native of Hollister, onto the 25-man roster. Menez arrived in the Giants clubhouse Saturday morning.
LONGORIA UPDATE: Evan Longoria, placed on the 10-day injured list on July 15 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, took some grounders in the infield Saturday. Longoria is eligible to come off the IL next week is feeling a little better, but Bochy said there is no exact date for his return. Longoria will be wearing a boot for the next three or four days and will be reevaluated when that comes off.
“We did the right thing putting him on the (injured list),” Bochy said.