Observations: Cubs fall to Giants in opener of tough road trip

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Observations: Cubs drop opener of tough road trip to Giants originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs lost 7-2 to the Giants on Thursday, the first of seven games on the West Coast, dropping to 32-24 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Welcome back to California, Joc Pederson. The former Dodger and Palo Alto native made himself at home in The Bay, crushing a two-run home run into McCovey Cove to put the Cubs ahead 2-1 in the third inning.

"He's pretty comfortable on the West Coast," David Ross said of Pederson. "He's been here a while and had some success over here."

2. Pederson didn’t miss on that no-doubt long ball two innings after being robbed of a leadoff blast. Steven Duggar made a leaping catch at the center field wall on Pederson’s 402-foot blast in the first.

3. Traffic on the bases caught up to Zach Davies in the fifth. He avoided a major inning through four frames despite six Giants hits and a walk. But a pair of Davies’ baserunners scored on Brandon Crawford’s three-run blast off Rex Brothers in the fifth.

"It looked like he was working hard to get outs," Ross said of Davies. "They took some pretty good swings, had some moments there.

"I thought he limited damage, but some really good swings from Crawford, Buster [Posey]," Ross added. "Just not being able to put guys away was one of the main things."

4. Both Brothers and Dillon Maples pitched Thursday after limited action in the final few weeks of May. Brothers has made four appearances since May 19 to Maples’ three. They were charged with three earned runs combined.

5. The Cubs dugout appeared to express their feelings on the strike zone to home plate umpire Laz Díaz throughout the night. Pederson also waved his hand after a strikeout in the sixth, moments after a close 3-0 pitch was called a strike.

6. The Cubs were quiet offensively after Pederson's home run, going 2-for-21 with a pair of singles the rest of the night.

7. How well did the Cubs pitch in May? Well, seven runs Thursday was the most they’ve allowed since May 15 against the Tigers (nine).

8. For one of the better defensive teams in baseball, the Cubs made some uncharacteristic plays in the seventh. Willson Contreras was charged with a throwing error on a stolen base attempt, allowing Mauricio Dubon to advance to third.

Dubon scored on a Donovan Solano sac fly, and Ian Happ's throw home allowed Crawford to advance to second base. Crawford later scored.

9. Before the game, Ross highlighted Sergio Alcántara’s performance since the Cubs brought him up from Triple-A last weekend. The 24-year-old has a hit in four of five games since then, including a single on Thursday.

10. The Cubs had an off night, but they held steady in the NL Central standings. The Reds beat the second-place Cardinals earlier in the evening.

On deck: The Cubs and Giants meet again Friday night at Oracle Park. First pitch is 8:45 p.m. CT. Jake Arrieta (5-5, 4.41 ERA) is the Cubs probable starter. San Francisco’s is to be determined.

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