Short-handed and reeling Giants end 2-6 trip by losing game and Longoria

MINNEAPOLIS — On the final day of a dreadful road trip, the San Francisco Giants were extremely short-handed, then lost another player during the game.

Evan Longoria, who’s been among the team’s more productive players this month, left in the fifth inning of San Francisco’s 8-3 loss to the Twins after feeling right hamstring discomfort after doubling and then scoring on a base hit by Brandon Crawford. Longoria, the Giants’ oldest player at 36, returned Aug. 3 after missing 14 games with a right hamstring strain. He said he tweaked the same spot Sunday but believes he might miss only one game.

The Giants were swept in a series for the seventh time this year; last year, they were swept just twice. They’ve won just one of their past 10 road series and at 61-65, they’re a season-worst four games below .500.

“We’ve kind of gotten a little beaten down on this trip,” Longoria said, adding that he plans to speak to players in the coming days about continuing to battle. “We need to focus this next month and be the best we can be.

“Hopefully we can get back on track, win some games and make a push. It’s going to be a long September if we don’t and that will be my message to the guys, to kind of get together and just say, ‘Look, now’s the time where you can’t give up, the season is long for everybody and this is the longest month of the year.’ We’ve got to continue to have that drive and determination.”

San Francisco returns home to face the team currently holding down the NL’s third wild-card spot, the Padres, but the Giants entered Sunday a season-high 7½ games behind San Diego. The postseason has started to look like a distant mirage over the course of their 2-6 trip to Colorado, Detroit and Minnesota.

“Not good enough,” manager Gabe Kapler said of the trip. “Not up to anybody in this clubhouse’s standards. I think we have to come back home and keep our heads down and keep grinding, keep working every day, understand that there’s still time — and really fight and scratch and claw to stay in this thing.

“We’re not in a good position, we all acknowledge that. But we’re still in the fight and that’s all we can ask for.”

The Giants have six games left against the Padres and two against the Brewers, the two teams above them in the wild-card standings.

“Every game counts at this point, no matter who it’s against,” Giants starter Jakob Junis said. “Time is running out. We only have a month left.”

September callups — just two are allowed this year — won’t join the team until Friday, but the Giants are significantly banged up and more than anything, could use an infusion of energy, or just a change of pace.

San Francisco couldn’t even formulate a lineup until shortly before first pitch, with three outfielders not at their best. Mike Yastrzemski had calf tightness, Joc Pederson groin tightness and Luis González was sick. Kapler said he’d have to figure out which might be best able to play, and Yastrzemski was the man who got the start, but when Longoria exited, González had to come in, too.

Kapler said he didn’t anticipate the need to use the IL when the club gets home, but added that a shorter bench would “make it more challenging to navigate the games that are coming on our homestead.”

The bullpen wasn’t in terrific shape, either, Sunday. Zack Littlell and Dominic Leone weren’t available, and Camilo Doval was iffy after 1 innings the night before.

Should the Giants want to make any bullpen moves, Ken Giles, signed to a minor-league deal this month, has worked twice at Triple-A Sacramento and might be available this week. But even some of the best possibilities at Triple-A Sacramento are hurt — as The Chronicle reported last week, infielder Isan Díaz is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn oblique muscle.

Crawford had a great day at the plate, with three hits, and his Twins shortstop counterpart, Carlos Correa, continued his tear, with hits in his first two at-bats, including an RBI double in the third. Correa went 8-for-12 in the series.

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