June bug hits Giants early 

Giants' Chris Heston struggled lasting only three innings during the Giants loss to the Pirates on Tuesday. - BEN MARGOT/AP
  • Ben Margot/AP
  • Giants' Chris Heston struggled lasting only three innings during the Giants loss to the Pirates on Tuesday.

Outfielder Hunter Pence isn't buying the June Swoon theory — even with the Giants, losers of the first two games since the calendar flipped, looking like a team that is in danger of tumbling into yet another summer slide.

"I really don't pay attention to any of that," Pence said. "If you look long enough, you could cut and paste all sorts of crazy stats," Pence said. "And that's part of the fun of baseball is the craziness, the madness."

Yet the facts say the Giants have slumped through sub-.500 Junes in three of the past five seasons. The struggles have been especially pronounced lately, as the club turned in a 10-17 record in 2013 and a 10-16 mark in 2014.

In the first two days of the month, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen hammered the Giants on back-to-back nights. The All-Star center fielder went 5 for 7 with four RBI in the first two games at AT&T park, including a 4-for-5 outburst in their 7-4 win on Tuesday night.

"He's seeing (the ball) well," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had a big night. He hit the ball well tonight. Good hitters will get in that zone."

Bochy couldn't explain the trend, but he agreed with Pence that the new squad has the chance to write a new narrative.

"It's been a little history, but every year is different," Bochy said. "I mean, the team is different. We'll see how it goes this month."

As Pence sees it, the team's past face-plants are unrelated to the first two losses that the Giants suffered this month.

"History is yet to be told," Pence said. "It's a completely new day from all of those last seasons. It's a new team. We're all new people. It's constantly changing. So, anything can happen."

Ryan Vogelsong put the notion of a June Swoon in a different perspective.

"You want to have a good month, but I don't even look at it so much as months," Vogelsong said. "I look at series. If you go out and win a series, at the end, you're going to have a good month."

By that definition, the Giants have their work cut out for them just two games into the month.

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Karl Buscheck

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