CHICAGO -- You could forgive some of the Giants for looking as though they were sleepwalking through Friday's series opener with the Chicago Cubs.
The team didn't get settled into its Chicago hotel until well after 3 a.m. Friday and played a day game at Wrigley Field just a few hours after finishing a sweep in Houston.
But Madison Bumgarner was sent to Chicago early, in large part so he could be well rested and sharp. The plan didn't work out.
On a humid day at Wrigley, Bumgarner had his shortest outing since his first start of the season, lasting just four innings in a 6-4 loss. Bumgarner gave up six hits and five runs, four of them earned.
Bumgarner's biggest faux pas came in a four-run third inning, when his failure to back up home plate cost the Giants a run.
"I was just acting like a baby and getting stubborn with myself," he said. "And it cost us a run. You never want to do that. I'll make sure that won't happen again."
The Cubs' other runs against Bumgarner came in a more conventional manner. Alfonso Soriano hit a run-scoring single in the first inning and in the third inning jumped on a cutter, hitting it onto Waveland Avenue. The two-run shot to left put the Cubs ahead 3-0. Both run-scoring hits came with two outs and two strikes.
"(Bumgarner) was a little off, especially ahead in the count," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's what hurt him today. He just made mistakes ahead in the count."
"That's a mental mistake there, and it cost us," Bochy said. "I'm sure he was frustrated with not making pitches, but he's still got to get back there. That's a big play."
The Giants swept Houston to start the current road trip, twice coming from behind. Their comeback attempt fell short Friday.
The Giants scattered five hits and two runs against right-hander Chris Volstad, who won his second consecutive start after going winless in the previous 24. They cut the lead to 6-4 in the eighth and twice brought the tying runner to the plate but couldn't capitalize.
Posey was supposed to get a day off Friday but talked his way into the lineup. He went 3 for 3 with two RBIs, but the humid day took its toll. Bochy said he would have Posey at first base for Saturday's game.
"Today was a little more challenging, just because of the humidity," Posey said. "(The humidity) was as high as I've felt this year. I was sweating like crazy."
Posey said the quick turnaround took a toll on the Giants' hitters but credited the Cubs with making Bumgarner work hard in the early innings. That led to a loss that snapped the Giants' six-game road winning streak, but they still finished with a 13-4 road record in August. The Giants' 18 wins in the month were their most in one month since September 2010.
"I think we're all playing with a lot of confidence," Posey said. "It's a fun time of the year."
Nady, 33, signed a minor league deal in early August and was hitting just .118 after his first 10 games for Triple-A Fresno. But since Aug. 17, Nady is hitting .364 with four homers and 10 RBIs. Nady has a .271 career average in the majors with 100 homers, and has played for Bochy in the past.
"We like the way he's been swinging the bat down there," Bochy said. "We'll figure out what the best left field option is."
Bochy said Nady could play left field as soon as Saturday.
Pill has hit .222 with four homers in two stretches in the big leagues this season. Machi impressed the Giants in spring training and has a 3.97 ERA and 15 saves for the Grizzlies. Veterans Penny (6.86 ERA) and Loux (5.66) should provide right-handed depth in a bullpen that nearly ran out of pitchers Wednesday night in Houston.
Huff has been on the disabled list three times this season, including a current 30-game stint because of a right knee sprain. He is hitting just .148 and is expected to see time as a pinch hitter.
To clear room on the 40-man roster, Freddy Sanchez was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. The Giants will have to open one more 40-man spot on Saturday, but Bochy said they weren't ready to announce the move yet.