SAN DIEGO – Giants manager Bruce Bochy had planned to give a few veterans the day off Sunday, but the regulars were adamant that they wanted to play and snap the club's longest losing streak since July.
The push didn't work, in large part because Ryan Vogelsong again had trouble finding the right rhythm.
Vogelsong gave up three homers in the first four innings at Petco Park, and the Giants lost 6-4 to the San Diego Padres, extending their losing streak to five games.
The five losses to the Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks have come by a combined seven runs.
"It's a little bit easier when they're close," catcher Buster Posey said. "But at the same time, it doesn't help that much."
Posey was one of the players who asked back into the starting lineup, and he hit a huge homer in the eighth inning to trim San Diego's lead to two runs. He represented the tying run in the top of the ninth, but grounded out to second to end the game.
In a quiet clubhouse, Posey said there's no desperation in the dugout.
"I don't sense any tension or anybody overly frustrated," he said. "It's a drive and willingness to want to work to get back on track."
Vogelsong has, in recent days, watched plenty of video of his 2011 and 2012 starts, but he still hasn't found the right groove. He said he is searching for a delivery that he can repeat, and the search didn't lead to any answers Sunday.
Chase Headley hit a two-out solo homer in the first inning, and Nick Hundley crushed a first-pitch fastball with a runner on in the second.
The third homer, a two-run shot from Alexi Amarista in the fourth, dropped into the new party deck in right field, where the fences have been brought in 11 feet.
Vogelsong finished April with a 6.23 ERA in five starts and gave up seven homers.
"I'm just off, man," he said. "I can't get anything really going. As soon as I feel I'm getting in a groove, it goes and then it comes back and goes again."
Vogelsong had a similarly rough stretch late last season before flipping the switch just in time for the postseason. He said his mechanical issues aren't as hard to fix this time around.
"I don't feel like I'm as far off," he said.
On several occasions Sunday, the Giants weren't far off from storming back for a comeback victory. Brandon Crawford nearly unloaded the bases with a drive in the second inning but ended up with only a sacrifice fly. The Giants loaded the bases again with one out in the third inning, but Hunter Pence hit into a double play.
After Posey's homer in the eighth, the Giants got Pence and Crawford into scoring position with two outs. Andres Torres worked a good at-bat against Luke Gregerson and lined a shot into right field, but Chris Denorfia made a diving catch.
"We've got to cash in a little bit better," Bochy said. "Their guy (starter Jason Marquis) was struggling and walking guys, and we just couldn't take advantage of it."