SAN FRANCISCO - The Phillies' bats shriveled again on Saturday.
The team was held to three hits in a 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 60-57 and had them in jeopardy of falling into fourth place in the NL East, depending on the outcome of the Mets-Nationals game Saturday night. This team led the division by 3½ games on May 29. It is 27-35 since then.
The Phillies are 2-4 on the road trip, which concludes on Sunday night.
Two days after being one-hit by the Giants in the first game of the series, the Phillies were manhandled by Jeff Samardzija. He pitched eight walk-free innings and gave up just two hits. He struck out five.
Corey Dickerson homered for the Phillies with two outs in the first inning. Samardzija then retired 20 straight Phillies hitters before Cesar Hernandez blooped a single to left with one out in the eighth. Samardzija then rolled a double-play ball to get out of the inning. The right-hander faced the minimum 22 batters after Dickerson's homer in the first.
Down two runs, the Phillies made it interesting in the ninth. Sean Rodriguez had the Phillies' third hit of the game, a broken-bat single to left with one out. Giants closer Will Smith struck out Bryce Harper for the second out. Rhys Hoskins walked to put two runners on base. Smith then struck out Dickerson to end the game.
The Phillies' dismal three-hit performance came the day after they had 10 hits, including two homers by Harper, in Friday night's win.
The Phils have scored one or zero runs in three of their four losses on this trip.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez gave up just three hits in five innings of work, but two of them landed in the seats. He hit Scooter Gennett with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the second then tried to get through Evan Longoria with a heavy diet of sliders. Longoria deposited a 2-1 slider in the left field seats for a two-run homer. In the fifth, Velasquez tried to get Kevin Pillar to chase an 0-2 curveball down. The pitch was low and out of the strike zone, but not low enough. Pillar plucked it off his shoe tops and belted it for a solo homer and a 3-1 Giants' lead.
Velasquez got into more trouble in the inning, but pitched out of it. Manager Gabe Kapler decided not to press his luck and got the teetering pitcher out of there after five.
Velasquez has pitched more than five innings just four times in 15 starts.
In six games on this trip, Phillies starters have gone 7, 5, 5, 5, 5 2/3 and 5 innings. That's not enough. Exposes a weak bullpen - though the 'pen has done a good job the last two days.
For the second time in three games in this series, the Phillies had just one hit through six innings. At least this one put a run on the board as Dickerson went deep in the first inning. On Thursday night, the Phils had one hit through six and that was a pinch-hit single. They were one-hit that night.
Dating to Wednesday night, the last game in Arizona, the Phillies have been held to one hit through five innings in three of the last four games.
Offensive inconsistency like this makes it difficult to believe this team has a serious run in it.
Dickerson has made a nice contribution since joining the club in a trade deadline deal. He has three homers and eight RBIs in seven games.
The series concludes on Sunday night at 7 p.m. Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.41) pitches against lefty Connor Menez (0-1, 5.73).
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