The Giants shelved their late anti-heroics of recent weeks for a loss that wasn’t digestible in any way.
San Francisco faltered with their ace on the mound, losing to the San Diego Padres 3-1, conceding a series sweep at the worst possible time of year.
The defeat dropped the Giants into a tie with the New York Mets in the NL Wildcard race and pushed the Dodgers farther into distance of the NL West standings where they now hold a 4-1/2 game lead.
San Francisco was held to a single run and four hits by the efforts of starting pitcher Luis Perdomo and the San Diego bullpen. Although the Giants have had success against Perdomo is the past, they couldn’t find an answer for the scorching pace that the 23-year-old maintained throughout the outing.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said:
“They know what’s at stake. It’s a tough group. With all they’ve been through, they’ve played under pressure like no other team. (Perdomo) threw well, kept his sinker down and changed speeds, but now we’ve got to dig deep and find a way here.”
Madison Bumgarner, on the other hand, offered up a serviceable performance that was diminished by the Giants’ lack of offense. He finished the afternoon with a 2.66 ERA including seven hits, two walks and three runs charged against him and five strikeouts in his favor.
“That’s just tough luck. There’s really no other way to describe it. I felt pretty good making pitches. For the most part they were making pretty weak contact. A few of them found the hole and it cost us today.”
Bumgarner struggled briefly in the first inning, when Wil Myers followed Luis Sardinas’ single with a one-out double. The next batter, Yangervis Solarte, bounced a loping grounder to Brandon Crawford for the sacrifice RBI.
The Giants nullified the Padres’ lead in the next frame by way of a Joe Panik RBI. After Brandon Crawford opened the inning with a walk and Brandon Belt slapped a blooper to shallow left, Panik punched in the tying run with a single that rocketed passed Perdomo.
Bumgarner pitched stingy until the sixth inning, when the Padres scratched together a one-run showing with effective base running.
Sardinas single up the middle to start the inning and was punished by Buster Posey’s arm when trying to steal a few pitches later — or so the crowd at AT&T thought. The original call of an out was overturned by crystalline video evidence of Sardinas beating Crawford’s tag.
After Bumgarner struck out Myers and Solarte flew out to Denard Span, Alex Dickerson brought Sardinas around with a shot to left that Angel Pagan couldn’t return to home plate in time, giving the Padres a 2-1 lead that would last them the game.
A seventh-inning surge padded the Padres lead and prompted Dave Righetti to take Bumgarner out of the game.
Bumgarner’s defense almost outlasted the early threat by retiring Alexi Amarista and Perdomom in succession, but Sardinas eventually singled Rosales in to bump the lead to 3-1. Cory Gearrin came to relieve Bumgarner and close out the inning.
The Padres wouldn’t need their cushion run to close out the Giants. Hunter Pence singled to left in the seventh and was able to reach scoring position by sneaking under catcher Derek Norris’ throw. The threat was severed by consecutive strikeouts victims, Belt and Kelby Tomlinson.
Span provided a microcosm for the game when reliever Ryan Butcher picked him off at first base to end the eighth inning.
“You never want to get swept, especially at home, a place we like to play. We have four very important ones coming up now, and we have to let it go and be ready for tomorrow. For us in this clubhouse we don’t think about yesterday.”
The Giants open up a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow before traveling to Los Angeles for a pivotal matchup with the Dodgers.