MILWAUKEE -- So far this season there have been plenty of homers during Giants games; they're just coming mainly from the team in the opposing dugout.
Matt Cain gave up three blasts in the first three innings at Miller Park on Thursday and was roughed up in a 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Giants were tagged for seven homers while being swept, and on a 3-4 road trip, they were out-homered 15-3 by the Brewers and Chicago Cubs.
"The long ball has killed us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had a hard time keeping the ball in the ballpark. Those balls are up in the zone, every one of them. We didn't get away with them. It seems like every time we made a mistake, they took advantage."
Through 16 games, Giants pitchers have given up 18 home runs, and there were no cheapies on Thursday. Ryan Braun got the scoring started with a two-run shot in the first, and opposing pitcher Yovani Gallardo muscled out a two-run homer in the second inning. With the Brewers already leading 5-0 in the third inning, Jonathan Lucroy put a charge into a hanging curveball.
The homers came on three different pitch types, and Cain said there was a common thread among the three. "Everything was coming back right to the middle," he said. "I was just not executing pitches at all."
Cain was charged with seven earned runs in six innings and has a 7.15 ERA through four starts. The Giants have lost four consecutive Cain starts for the first time since the middle of the 2010 season.
"It's from not really repeating the delivery consistently," Cain said.
As they boarded a flight back to San Francisco, the starting rotation had a combined ERA of 5.07. Cain said he expected the veterans to seek advice from one another as they try to turn things around, and the process started right after Thursday's loss, when Cain spent several minutes talking mechanics with Ryan Vogelsong.
"You don't want to step on anybody's toes, but everyone has seen each other enough and been around each other enough that we see things going good or bad," Cain said. "I'm never going to be offended if someone comes up and says something."
Before Thursday's game, Bochy said the changes could last more than just a game, but he wanted to see how his players handled the lineup tweaks. If Crawford's at-bats are any indication, it could be a while before he's back in his familiar No. 8 spot.
Crawford had three hits including a solo homer and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has reached base safely in 14 straight games.
"He's shortening up his swing really, really well right now," Bochy said. "He's gotten a lot shorter to the ball. His swing is more compact, and he's using the whole field well."
Crawford hit two homers in the series and now has three in 35 career plate appearances at Miller Park. He has only two career homers at AT&T Park.
"I'm not really changing my approach," Crawford said. "I'm just trying to stay up the middle. I've just been trying to put good swings on the ball."
Crawford is hitting .393 in two-strike counts and said he has talked with Buster Posey about how to have success in those situations.
"A lot of it is mental," Crawford said. "Last year I would get two strikes and think about striking out."