SAN FRANCISCO – After an unfortunate encounter with a kitchen knife, the Giants believe the half-inch cut on Matt Cain’s right index finger will close up nicely without stitches.
As for the puncture wound in the rotation left by Cain’s absence, Yusmeiro Petit couldn’t have done a better job with Bactine and a hot glue gun.
Given barely an hour’s notice that he would be starting, Petit took the mound and held the San Diego Padres to three hits over six smothering, shutout innings and the Giants backed him in a 6-0 victory Tuesday night.
Angel Pagan and Buster Posey hit solo home runs in the first inning and Hector Sanchez took another intentional walk personally, following up a free pass to Pablo Sandoval by rapping a two-run single in the third.
Starting pitching report
Cain took batting practice prior to the game and his cut isn’t considered serious. He’s expected to miss just this one start.
The Giants were fortunate they didn’t have to push him. They had a well rested alternative in Petit, who hadn’t pitched in eight days since tossing four solid innings in relief of Ryan Vogelsong at Coors Field.
Petit gave the Giants exactly what they needed. He was perfect through three highly efficient innings, used a double play to stamp out a rally in the fourth and pitched around a double in the sixth. He located his 88-89 mph fastball to both sides of the plate, kept the ball down and mixed in a changeup, curve and short slider to keep the Padres off balance.
Petit struck out four, did not walk a batter and only went to a three-ball count twice.
The official stats will list Petit as a starter, of course. But for all practical purposes, the Giants received nine shutout innings from their bullpen. Jean Machi threw 23 pitches while retiring all six batters he faced, and Santiago Casilla pitched a stress-free ninth.
On a night they needed an emergency starter, the Giants required just 105 pitches to record 27 outs.
At the plate
Petit (2-1) did something in April that Cain was unable to do: He picked up a victory.
Of course, a large measure of Cain’s inability to win was the offense’s inability to score for him. He couldn’t even get a win when he allowed one earned run over a two-start span.
So maybe this is what a reverse Caining looks like. On the day Cain was scratched, wouldn’t you know it? The Giants came out swinging. Pagan hit his seventh career leadoff home run, Posey hit his sixth and Michael Morse nearly hit his seventh but settled for a double.
The Giants improved to 11-1 when they score first.
Morse had a chance to blow the game open when he batted with the bases loaded and no outs in the third, but lefty Eric Stults for him to ground back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play. The Padres pitched carefully to Pablo Sandoval, perhaps hoping he’d go fishing and get himself out. But the Panda didn’t bite on three pitches out of the zone, so Stults dropped the pretense and issued the intentional walk.
Sanchez made the Padres pay, just as he did when an intentional walk preceded his grand slam in Colorado. His single gave the Giants a 4-0 lead, and Brandon Crawford followed with another RBI single to cap the three-run rally.
Sanchez drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Morse is no Gold Glover in left field, but he made perhaps his best play of the season when he sprinted down Alexi Amarista’s fly ball near the line and caught it off his shoe tops in the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, Morse reached on an error and pushed hard as he went from first to third on Sandoval’s single. Although he showed no obvious signs of pain or injury, Morse was lifted for a pinch runner. Juan Perez scored on Sanchez’s sacrifice fly.
The Giants announced 41,952 paid, and the game ended so quickly that folks could watch nearly all of the fourth quarter of the Warriors game.
The Giants and Padres finish their three-game series at AT&T Park on Wednesday. Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.19 ERA) takes the mound against Padres left-hander Robbie Erlin (1-3, 6.35). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT.