PITTSBURGH -- In desperate need of a morale boost, the Giants instead have to deal with another significant problem.
A day after Pablo Sandoval was put on the disabled list and hours after Marco Scutaro was diagnosed with a serious finger injury, Barry Zito had yet another disastrous road start. Zito didn't make it through the fifth inning of a 12-8 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up eight earned runs on 11 hits.
At this point, Zito's road problems are no longer a small sample size. He has an ERA of 11.28 in five road starts and has thrown just 22¿1/3 combined innings.
The trouble started in the first inning Wednesday, when Zito gave up four singles but limited the Pirates to one run. He gave up four consecutive hits in the third inning, including a two-run double by Andrew McCutchen that was the big blow in a three-run inning.
The lineup battled back against former Giants prospect Francisco Liriano and the game was tied at 4-all headed into the bottom of the fifth. Zito didn't survive the inning.
Leadoff singles by Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer and a walk of Gaby Sanchez set the table. The Pirates took the lead when Zito failed to cover first on Russell Martin's one-hopper to the right side that looked like a double play when Brandon Belt snared it and threw to second. Martin was safe on the back end of the play.
Pedro Alvarez's double brought another run in and the Pirates went up 8-4 when Neil Walker doubled off Jose Mijares.
Wednesday's game marked the seventh time through 64 games that the Giants have given up 10 or more runs, the highest total in the National League. They did it six times all of last season.