SAN FRANCISCO -- Even in the rare losses over the season's first seven weeks, the Giants have consistently put up a fight. On Saturday, they went down relatively quietly.
Tom Koehler stifled the lineup and Tim Lincecum couldn't do the same to the Miami Marlins, as the Giants fell 5-0 at AT&T Park. It was the second shutout loss in five games for the National League West leaders.
"If you don't hit and score runs, you look flat," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The offense is what really makes you look like you have some hop to your stop. It comes down to scoring runs."
Against the hard-throwing Koehler, the Giants rarely even sniffed a rally. Their best shot was snuffed out by a replay review that wiped away a Brandon Hicks double. With one out and one on in the second, Hicks hit a soaring fly ball to right that bounced high off the bricks for a double that put two in scoring position. The Marlins challenged, saying that Hicks didn't touch first base. After a lengthy review, Hicks was called out.
"That was costly," Bochy said. "I looked at it and it's hard to tell (if he hit the bag). It was a critical mistake there and I think that hurt us."
Hicks thought he might have nicked the edge of the bag with the side of his spikes but admitted that he was watching the ball, not the bag. Shawon Dunston, who handles replay decisions for the Giants, said the umpires were correct on a tough call.
"The umpires were right," Dunston said. "He didn't touch it."
The Giants didn't make much more noise after the overturned call. Koehler scattered four hits and two walks while lowing his ERA to 2.25. Lincecum couldn't keep up after a sharp start.
Coming off his best outing of the year, Lincecum had his first 1-2-3 first inning of the season and got two quick outs in the second before making a mistake every pitcher tries to avoid. He issued a walk with two outs and then another one, and the Marlins went up 1-0 when Adeiny Hechavarria's single to right scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"That always hurts," Lincecum said of the two-out walk. "Hitters should never get a chance like that. I've got to go after them better and be aggressive."
Angel Pagan's aggressiveness almost cost the Giants one of their most important players. After Casey McGehee hit a leadoff double in the sixth, Garrett Jones hit a liner to left-center field that Pagan dived for. He landed on his left elbow and shoulder and was grimacing as he slid across the grass. Pagan immediately began rubbing his shoulder as left fielder Gregor Blanco chased the RBI triple and went back to the clubhouse with trainer Dave Groeschner at the end of the inning. He stayed in the game.
"I think he's going to be OK," Bochy said of his all-important leadoff man.
The sloppy night continued in the late innings. Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer in the seventh and a Hunter Pence error led to a fifth run. That meant the Giants couldn't bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth when Tyler Colvin hit with the bases loaded and two outs. Colvin struck out.
Pence is the only Giant to have started every game this season, but he takes his streak further than that -- he hasn't even missed an inning. Pence leads the Majors with 4002/3 innings and has shown no signs of slowing down, picking up 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats.
Bochy spoke to Pence this spring about the possibility of sitting out at some point, but the manager has yet to pull the plug, saying Pence is tough enough physically and mentally to handle the grind. Since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 31, 2012, Pence has been out of the Giants starting lineup just once: Sept. 23, 2012, the day after the Giants clinched the National League West title. He pinch-hit in the ninth inning that day.
"I think all is good with him right now," Bochy said.
Miami (Jacob Turner 0-1) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 1-2), 1:05 p.m. CSNBA