SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have sold out 226 consecutive games at AT& T Park. Very rarely these days are they giving those big crowds much to celebrate.
The Giants put both feet down on the brakes after jumping out to an early lead Sunday, losing 10-2 to the Baltimore Orioles to clinch yet another losing homestand. The Giants have not had a winning set at home since taking four of six from the Nationals and Rockies in late May.
How long ago was that? The third win of that homestand came on a walk-off, inside-the-park homer by Angel Pagan, who since has had surgery and completed the majority of a lengthy rehab schedule.
After going 48-33 at home last season, the Giants are just 31-31 on the shores of McCovey Cove this year. They have lost 19 of their last 27 home games and taken just one home series in the last eight tries.
"We've always played well here," starting pitcher Matt Cain said. "We've just kind of hit a funky patch. We need to get over it."
The patch is now the size of a football field, having engulfed a season that started with so much promise. Sunday's game started with promise and a 2-0 lead for Cain, who retired 15 of the first 16 hitters. But the Orioles took the lead on a two-run homer by J.J. Hardy in the seventh inning and then poured it on against the Giants bullpen. Cain pitched well, giving up just three earned runs over seven innings, but he took his eighth loss.
The Giants have won the past nine games in which they scored at least four runs, but they're rarely hitting that mark these days. The lineup has totaled a major league-low 60 runs in 23 games since the All-Star break.
"(The starters) have been doing a great job, but we're not getting them the support they need," said Pablo Sandoval, who broke out of a 0-for-20 slump with a single in the sixth inning. "It's disappointing."
Sunday's disappointment was ramped up because the Giants had Bud Norris on the ropes early. Marco Scutaro opened the first with a single and scored on Brandon Belt's double. Belt scored two batters later on Hunter Pence's double, but the Giants stranded two runners. They stranded two more in the second and left a runner on third in the fourth. They had just one more hit the rest of the way.
"We score two early runs and then it's like we just kind of sit around and wait, like that's all we need," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "A lot of times with our pitching staff, it is. But we've got to pile on."
The Orioles did, scoring two in the seventh on Hardy's homer and four in the eighth to blow the game open.
Barry Zito came on in the ninth, making his second relief appearance since being pulled from the rotation. It didn't go well.
Adam Jones hit a three-run homer to give the Orioles, who trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh, an eight-run lead.