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Giants try to move on after tough loss

Giants try to move on after tough loss

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants absorbed their largest margin of defeat this season with Thursday night's 11-0 loss to the D-backs.

In short, it was a rare event. And for the Giants' sake, they better keep it that way during the rest of the schedule if they plan on staying in postseason contention.

The Giants could console themselves with the knowledge that they won the three-game series against the D-backs, 2-1, and could immediately turn their attention to bigger pursuits -- specifically, the three-game series against the National League Wild Card-leading Rockies, beginning Friday night.

But the timing of Thursday's defeat was more galling than its lopsided nature. San Francisco squandered an opportunity to trim Colorado's lead in the Wild Card standings to two games. With 34 games left to overcome the three-game deficit (for now, forget about the seven games separating San Francisco and the first-place Dodgers in the NL West), the Giants can't afford many more lapses such as this one.

"A loss is a loss, whether you lose by one or 11," center fielder Aaron Rowand said. "You come back and regroup."

The Giants accomplished that against the D-backs. Since losing three of four games at Denver, they shaved one game from the Rockies' Wild Card edge. But, Rowand said, "I don't think anybody really cares about that. I think everybody cares about the game that's coming up and what it takes for us to try to win it."

The Giants performed as if this were a warmup act to the Rockies series -- something to be dispensed with and forgotten quickly, like most warmup acts are. Yet manager Bruce Bochy disputed the suggestion that the team might have been concentrating more on the Rockies than the D-backs.

"The club was not looking at tomorrow," Bochy said. "We certainly had our focus out there."

The Giants trailed, 4-0, through two innings and had their fate sealed by the fifth.

Representing the potential tying run, Rowand struck out with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning against Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit (3-8).

"He doesn't have anything that's overpowering, but he hits his spots," Rowand said of Petit, who entered the game with a 6.06 ERA. "He didn't leave anything out over the plate. Everything that he threw was either on the outside corner or the inside corner."

The D-backs settled matters against Giants starter Joe Martinez with a four-run fifth. Returning from a bout with the flu, Mark Reynolds began the outburst with his 39th homer of the season, a drive that landed halfway up the left-center-field stands. After Miguel Montero walked and Gerardo Parra singled, Brandon Allen drove Martinez's 1-2 pitch to right field for his first Major League homer.

Despite allowing eight runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, Martinez (3-2) appeared to possess decent stuff, as his five strikeouts reflected. He discussed his need to improve his existing pitching repertoire.

"I don't think it's necessarily like, 'Oh, I have to get in the weight room and throw five miles an hour harder.' That's probably not going to happen," said Martinez, whose ERA rose from 5.73 to 7.52. "I'm not going to start throwing a knuckleball."

But the Giants might throw Martinez a curve by replacing him in the rotation. ESPN reported that San Francisco, along with a handful of other clubs, expressed interest in obtaining right-hander Brad Penny, who Boston released on Thursday.

Penny won't clear waivers until Monday, so Bochy couldn't discuss him under tampering rules. However, Bochy did indicate that he would discuss the Giants' pitching situation with general manager Brian Sabean.

Sure enough, moments after his postgame news conference ended, Bochy huddled in his office with Sabean and vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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