SAN FRANCISCO -- Jake Peavy had the right kind of shoes on late Sunday night -- they just weren't the right color. Peavy was still wearing his red shower sandals from his time with the Boston Red Sox, though he promised he was going to get rid of them and "have orange on from here on out, and bleed it with the rest of these guys."
Similarly, Peavy did a lot of good things in the fifth inning Sunday evening, making his Giants debut -- he just didn't get the right outcome. A strikeout of Dee Gordon turned into the start of a three-run inning when the ball skipped under the glove of Buster Posey, allowing the speedy Gordon to reach safely. And a strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez ended up costly as well, as the pitch again bounced away from Posey and Gordon dashed home on Posey's throw to first.
It epitomized a sloppy night for the Giants in their first game playing behind Peavy. One of two errors by second baseman Dan Uggla led to an unearned run in the fourth, and the two innings were enough to spoil Peavy's debut as the Dodgers won 4-3 and completed a three-game sweep.
Peavy's fifth included two wild pitches, the third strike to Gonzalez that also kicked away from Posey, a strange moment where Posey hesitated on a throw back to the mound with Peavy not looking -- resulting in Peavy diving to his left for the ball -- and the three runs.
"It's going to take some time for me and Buster to get to know each other," Peavy said. "He's tremendous behind the plate, we all know how good he is. And the more we're out there together, I'm sure we'll get a better feel. But at the end of the day, we worked well today together -- just not quite good enough."
Peavy, acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday morning, allowed four runs on six hits in six innings in his debut, throwing 102 pitches. His fastball reached 93 mph and he had sharp movement on some of his breaking pitches. He also displayed the "fire" Bochy said he possessed, demonstratively shaking his head after close pitches called balls and grunting loudly on many of his deliveries to the plate.
"I was comfortable tonight," Peavy said. "Faced the Dodgers quite a bit, played in this ballpark. It was fun being on the right side, just hate the way it turned out.
"I can get much better, and I expect to be much better."
Peavy said that despite the wild pitches in the fifth, he felt he needs to "pick up the team and do a better job." After striking out Gonzalez, he allowed an RBI single to Hanley Ramirez that he said was a bad location, and then an RBI triple by Carl Crawford. Peavy said he thought he had Crawford out in front on the pitch, but Crawford beat it.
It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for Peavy, who learned Saturday morning he was being traded from Boston -- where he won a World Series in 2013 and said he had "10 or 12" teammates who were like family -- and landed smack in the middle of a division race and the Giants-Dodgers rivalry. Peavy said he felt prepared to make his start Sunday, and he vowed improvement as he becomes more familiar with Posey and reacquaints himself with the National League.
"We made him work hard today, and that's a tough game for us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We made some mistakes, gave them too many outs, and it came back to haunt us. It's unfortunate, but Jake did throw well, did a great job I thought. Had to battle through some tough innings there and kept his poise and overall did a nice job."
Tomorrow's print story gets further into Peavy's first start and the eventful fifth inning. Posey said of the miscues, the one that bothered him most was the third strike to Gordon that skipped under his glove, allowing the speedy leadoff hitter to reach.
"He's too much of a threat on the paths to let him get on like that," Posey said. "It was a weird inning. (But) no excuses, I've got to do a better job."
Bochy said that on the Gonzalez strikeout, he didn't think Posey looked Gordon back to third before throwing to first base. Posey, though, said he felt he glanced at third before picking up the ball to throw out Gonzalez. "If I pump fake it (at third), I don't know," he said. "Hindsight's always 20-20 on those."
Along with being the Giants' first extra-base hit since last Wednesday, Posey's homer in the fifth off Hyun-Jin Ryu was his first on a 3-0 pitch in his major-league career. The last Giant to homer in a 3-0 count: Pedro Feliz, who did it July 21, 2007, according to the Giants' post-game notes and Dave Feldman.
Uggla's two errors came on Ramirez's grounder in the fourth and a Gordon line drive in the first inning that Uggla tried to catch on a backhand and missed. Bochy was asked whether Uggla's defense at second is a liability and gave this answer:
"I think it's going to get better. He's probably a little rusty. It's a tough game sometimes and he feels worse than anybody. ... I told him, hey, let's wash this off, let's regroup here as a team."
Still, Bochy said, Uggla will likely be off as the Giants start a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday. Joe Panik, who has been nursing a sprained right ankle, is OK to play and will likely start against Pirates right-hander Vance Worley, Bochy said.
The Dodgers came into this series trailing the Giants by 1 1/2 games in the N.L. West. They leave with a 1 1/2 game lead. They outscored the Giants 17-4 during the three-game sweep, albeit with their top three starters lined up to pitch the series and facing a Giants lineup depleted by injuries.
Bochy balked at using the injuries as an excuse for the sweep, and said the Giants can't come away from this weekend thinking about the strength of their division rivals.
"It doesn't matter what they do, it's what we do," Bochy said of the Dodgers. "They're a good club, it's well known. But we're going to have to play better ball. We had a good road trip, came in and tripped. It's important we get back on track here. I was encouraged with how Jake threw the ball, how the guys fought today."
They'll try to get back on track against the Pirates, who come in 55-49 and three games back of Milwaukee in the N.L. Central. The pitching probables:
Monday: RHP Vance Worley (3-1, 3.10) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (12-7, 3.19)
Tuesday: LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65)
Wednesday: RHP Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.65) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (9-7, 3.96)