SAN DIEGO — Tim Lincecum has a sticker on his locker at AT&T Park that says "MomenTIM." For the Giants, that lasted less than 24 hours.
A game after Lincecum threw a 148-pitch no-hitter, Barry Zito lasted just 41 pitches and was knocked out in the third inning of a 10-1 blowout loss to the San Diego Padres. After winning the first three games of this series, the Giants went into the All-Star break on a sour note and with a 43-51 record.
"He was off, there's no question about it," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Many Giants looked lethargic in the hours before their longest break of the season. The Giants were 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position and had several sloppy moments in the field. Zito put the team in an early hole and didn't make it out of the third. The left-hander finished the first half with an 0-6 record and 9.89 ERA on the road.
"There's no mindset going into the game based on what the location is," Zito said. "I know the numbers are saying something, but for me it's not adding up."
Zito gave up a solo homer in the first, and Nick Hundley and Will Venable went back-to-back in the second, prompting Bochy to get his well-rested bullpen going. When Zito walked leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera to open the third inning, he was pulled. It was Zito's shortest start since he was removed with an injury in the second inning on April 16, 2011.
"That's his style sometimes and I support his decision," Zito said. "I've got to be better out there. I've got to have my concentration where it should be."
The bullpen didn't fare much better. The Padres, who had lost 14 of 15, hit around in the third, scoring four runs. They scored in each of the first five innings, with Carlos Quentin capping the outburst with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Zito was charged with four earned runs in two-plus innings of work. In eight road starts, he has given up fewer than four earned runs just twice. Asked if the Giants had come up with any way to keep Zito from pitching as often on the road, Bochy frowned.
"With (Ryan) Vogelsong down, it's tough to do," he said. "You like to think you can tweak things sometimes and maybe help a guy out, but you need five starters. Until we get Vogey back, it's hard to tweak the rotation."
The rotation will likely line up behind Chad Gaudin at the start of the second half. Bochy said he wants to give Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner extra rest, so Gaudin will start the Friday opener of a three-game series with the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. Cain and Bumgarner will follow and Lincecum and Zito will pitch fourth and fifth.
Because the Diamondbacks also lost Sunday, the Giants finished the first half 6? games out of first. They are also four games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and two back of the Colorado Rockies.
"They need a break," Bochy said of his players. "I hope they relax and enjoy their families and come back ready to go. We're down in the standings. We've got to come back and fight our way back into this."