AT&T PARK — The San Francisco Giants powered to an early lead Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres and coasted to a convincing 6-0 win.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
Long reliever Yusmeiro Petit turned in a gem of an emergency start, throwing six shutout innings on 72 pitches while surrendering just three hits and allowing just one batter to advance into scoring position.
Petit (W, 2-1, 2.61 ERA) entered the game with a sharp 1.17 ERA at AT&T Park this season. He stifled a Padres offense who tagged ace Madison Bumgarner for six runs last night.
Manager Bruce Bochy — who informed Petit of his impending start during batting practice — had high praise for his long man’s ability to step into his impromptu role tonight.
“What a great effort. Anytime you lose your starter and your swing guy goes in there and gets you six innings like that, that’s such a big lift for the club…He saved us in Colorado with four innings of work there, then tonight he saved us. Just did a great job.”
The Giants wasted no time attacking starting pitcher Eric Stults (L, 1-3, 5.34 ERA). Leadoff man Angel Pagan whacked his 7th career leadoff home run over the left field wall to open the game.
Two batters later, Buster Posey hammered a solo shot of his own on a hanging breaking ball over the middle of the plate to put the Giants up a pair to end the first.
San Francisco would start another rally in third after narrowly failing to capitalize on a bases-loaded no-outs situation.
Michael Morse — who leads the team in RBIs (19) — sent a bouncer towards Stults who sent it home for the 1-2-3 double-play, with Pence and Posey advancing on the play.
After an intentional walk to Sandoval, catcher Hector Sanchez laced a single up the middle, plating two and advancing the Giants lead.
Sanchez has made it a habit this season of coming up with big hits following an intentional walk. Bochy credited his backup catcher with the key at-bat of the game:
“I thought the huge at-bat of the night was Sanchez, with the bases-loaded, nobody out there. They were close to getting out of that and keeping it a two-run game. He delivered in a big way there with his base-hit to help give us a bigger cushion.”
Shortstop Brandon Crawford tacked on another run after bouncing a single through the right side of the infield to put the Giants up 5-0 by the end of the inning.
The Giants’ second offensive burst of the night was enough to bounce Stults from the game, who ended the night on his shortest outing of the season at just 2-1/3 innings after giving up five earned runs.
The three-run third inning was indicative of the Giants hit-or-miss tendencies at the plate with runners in scoring position this season.
The Giants are hitting just .170 over the last fifteen games with RISP, though they entered the game with a league leading .297 average in the same situation with two outs.
San Francisco struck again in the sixth after an error by third basemen Jace Peterson allowed Morse to take first.
A single by Sandoval and sac fly by Sanchez plated pinch runner Juan Perez, but not after a diving catch by outfielder Chris Denorfia stemmed yet another potential rally.
The Padres got their first runner in scoring position in the top of sixth after reliever Donn Roach laced a double into the right-center gap.
But Petit worked out of the jam for his final inning of the ballgame, turning in the quality start the Giants needed against a Padres team that has given them fits.
Relievers Jean Machi and Santiago Casilla represented San Francisco’s shut-down bullpen across the last three frames, retiring every batter they faced in on the way to the series’ rubber match.
Veteran Tim Hudson takes on Robbie Erlin in the final game of the series tomorrow at 7:15 p.m.
Bruce Bochy said he thinks Matt Cain “should be good to go,” for his next start. Cain was scratched from tonight’s game with a hand laceration. … Yusmeiro Petit’s win tonight is just the seventh win earned by a Giants starter in 27 games. …The home runs by Angel Pagan and Buster Posey mark the team’s seventh consecutive game with a home run. … The Giants are third in the majors after grounding into 25 double plays. Morse’s double-play ball in the third nearly let the Padres out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam.