Bumgarner: 'It's nice to battle and get a win'
SAN FRANCISCO – A night of frustration turned around quickly for the Giants, as Angel Pagan’s ninth-inning RBI double gave them a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday at AT&T Park.
Gregor Blanco got things started when he led off the bottom of the ninth with his best Ichiro impersonation, taking a half-swing and serving a blooper into left field for a single. After he was forced out on Andres Torres’ sacrifice attempt, Torres stole second and Pagan ripped a game-winning double off Luke Gregerson to give the home team a walkoff victory.
That snapped a three-game losing streak for San Francisco, and put a thrilling finish on what had been a disappointing offensive performance to that point. The Giants left nine men on base and were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner was terrific, giving up just four hits over six innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks. That’s definitely good enough to get a ‘W’, and he remains the rock in what’s been a shaky Giants rotation. His one mistake came with San Francisco leading 2-1 in the sixth.
Chase Headley got hold of a 2-1 slider and sent it over the left field wall (barely) to tie the game. Before that homer, Bumgarner had retired 15 of his previous 16 hitters going back to the first inning, when the Padres scored their first run.
During one stretch, the lefty struck out five straight and six of out of seven hitters. He had San Diego frustrated and off-balance, but all he had to show for it was a no-decision.
Jose Mijares, George Kontos and Santiago Casilla were excellent, holding the Padres down and keeping it a tie game over the last three innings.
At the plate
The Giants had Padres starter Edinson Volquez on the ropes in the sixth when Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco singled to start the inning. Then a key moment – Bruce Bochy sent Bumgarner to the plate, and rather than bunt him, he had the pitcher swing away.
Bumgarner hit a grounder to Headley at third that nearly went for an around-the-horn triple play. Bumgarner beat the throw to first by plenty, but that snuffed out a potential rally. It was that kind of a night offensively until the ninth.
Pagan provided a spark in the first inning, singling to lead off and coming around to score on In the field
The Padres’ near triple-play was the eye-catching play of the game. It appeared the Giants’ Gregor Blanco might have a chance at a “Web Gem” on Headley’s homer. He made a leaping attempt at the wall but couldn’t come up with the catch.
Brandon Crawford turned in another beauty at shortstop, ranging up the middle to scoop up Jesus Guzman’s sharp grounder, spinning and making the throw to first.
A sellout crowd of 41,559 was on hand, though a large portion of them found their seats late and couldn’t have been happy about it. The Giants advised fans to show up early because of increased security procedures installed after the Boston Marathon bombings. But long lines stretched around the ballpark well after first pitch as fans waited to get in.
Tim Lincecum takes the ball Saturday looking to avoid that one disastrous inning that has marked his last two outings. He isn’t the only one looking to improve, as Padres lefty Clayton Richard brings a 5.28 ERA into the game. He’s walked nine in 15 1/3 innings.