SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are running out of things they can count on in the wake of another unsettling drubbing by the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
The Giants had been unbeaten in seven Tim Hudson starts at AT&T Park, but the Padres rudely ended that run with a 7-2 victory in which they rapped out nine hits against the veteran right-hander and knocked him out of the game after 52/3 innings.
It's looking like the Giants can't count on the comforts of AT&T Park much anymore, either. Over the first two months, the Giants were fairly dominant in their home yard at 22-9. But with this latest dispiriting defeat that shrunk their lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers to three games in the National League West, they have lost five straight and eight of nine at home.
If those developments aren't grim enough, the Giants were subdued by a Padres rookie pitcher for a second straight night. Following up the seven shutout innings of Odrisamer Despaigne in his major league debut Monday, 22-year-old right-hander Jesse Hahn -- making just his fourth major league start -- retired the first 12 Giants he faced over the first four innings, and by the time the hosts managed their first hit, San Diego had already built a 3-0 lead.
But the Giants' real concern at the moment is their own starting pitching. They haven't been able to rely on anybody besides Madison Bumgarner of late, and the recent slump of Hudson, who has been the Giants' second best starter through the first three months, brings even more alarm to their ongoing skid in which they've lost 11 of 14 overall.
Over that stretch, Giants starters have posted a 5.63 ERA and have logged just four quality starts -- six innings pitched allowing three or fewer runs.
"I think it's fair to say that's our biggest issue right now during this tough stretch," said manager Bruce Bochy. "It's that rotation that put us in a good position, but we've hit a bump in the road with some of them, and it's going to happen. But it's going to be important to come out of this, and it's going to be our starting pitching that gets us out of this."
Things seemed solid with Hudson on the mound at AT&T, where he was 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA. But it just wasn't happening for him on this night, even though he felt much better than he did in his last start against the White Sox in Chicago, when he gave up 12 hits and seven runs in 42/3 innings.
"My Chicago start, I just wasn't very good," Hudson said. "Tonight I felt really good. I felt like I was making some pretty good pitches. They hit some pretty good pitches, they hit some that weren't very good. You have to give them credit, but at the same time, it's a pitch or two from maybe not giving up any runs. It's one of those things that happens."
The Giants have been finding themselves giving a lot of credit to opponents the past couple of weeks. At least in the case of the young Padres' pitching, some of it may be deserved. Hahn allowed just four hits over six innings, walked one and struck out eight. He looked like the real deal.
"He's got pretty good stuff," said Buster Posey, who drove in one of the Giants' two runs with an RBI double in the sixth. "He had good life on his fastball, and he changed speeds with the curveball a lot, which made it effective."
Hudson, meanwhile, had two walks and a hit batter to go along with his nine hits allowed while striking out just four. Four of the six runs scored against him were earned, and the bottom of the Padres' order was a particular thorn. No. 8 man Alexi Amarista went 3 for 4 and drove in three of San Diego's seven runs.
San Diego capped its scoring when Tommy Medica, a Santa Clara University product out of Bellarmine College Prep, slammed a pinch-hit solo homer against Javier Lopez in the eighth inning.
San Diego (Ian Kennedy 5-8) at Giants (Tim Lincecum 5-5), 12:45 p.m. CSNBA
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