Pittsburgh-bound Giants top Padres

AT&T PARK — On a day when they had a game of their own to play and plenty of football to watch, the Giants were locked into the Pirates-Reds season finale before they took the field.

With televisions in the clubhouse and manager Bruce Bochy‘s office tuned to the game, Bochy sat back in a leather chair with his eyes glued to the screen:

“Quite a couple of races we got here.”

He eventually snapped out of the Wild Card race to field questions about Sunday’s game, one they would go on to win against the San Diego Padres 9-3.

Bochy said it was important for the team to maintain momentum going into the postseason:

“Well played game. It’s always good to see them play like that… They played with a lot of fire today.”

Buster Posey played just four innings, but only needed one to club his 22nd home run of the season tying the game 2-2 in the first.

The Pittsburgh Pirates loss Sunday means the Giants will play a one-game Wild Card in Pittsburgh Wednesday that will determine who plays the Washington Nationals in the NLDS Friday.

After the game, Posey looked ahead to Wednesday’s Wild Card:

“I watched the game last year, the Wild Card game there last year and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to probably be one of the better atmospheres that we get to play in. I think we all look forward to the challenge.”

Rookie right-hander Chris Heston made his major league debut for the Giants and pitched four innings, surrendered three earned runs and struck out two.

Heston said nerves played a part in his first big-league inning:

“It was a little nervous to be out there for the first time. Once I threw strike one, they kind of settled down. A lot happened pretty quick and Crawford made a crazy good play for me to get me out of it. Overall, it was a lot of fun.”

Adam Duvall outdid Posey in the fourth with his third home run about 10 feet farther up the left field bleachers to make it 5-3.

Another relief outing, another vultured win for Tim Lincecum (W, 12-9, 4.74) who came in to relieve Heston in the fifth, pitched two innings and allowed one hit.

Padres starter Robbie Erlin (L, 4-5, 4.99) took the loss after 1-2/3 innings and four earned runs.

The Giants Opening Day starter, All-Star representative and season-long workhorse Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98) will make his seventh postseason start.

Bumgarner looked forward toward the Giants matchup in Pittsburgh after the game:

“The only thing we can do is prepare ourselves the best we can, go in and play good, fundamentally-sound baseball and compete and we’ll see who the last team standing is to move on.”

He’ll most likely face righty Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04) who is next in the Pirates rotation. An official Pirates starter has yet to be announced. Game time Wednesday is 5 p.m.

Notes

The Giants finished the regular season 88-74, which marks the fourth time in the last six seasons San Francisco has won at least 88 games. … Duvall’s fourth-inning home run was the first pinch-hit homer he’s slugged in his career. … Posey’s 22nd homer in the first represents the second-most he’s batted in a season in his career (24 HRs in 2012).


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