SAN DIEGO — They’ve made right field at Petco Park a bit smaller over the years, but it’s still a few feet too large for Matt Kemp. The first-year Padre came up a bit short on two big hits in the seventh inning, allowing the Giants to break away and take a 7-1 win on getaway day at Petco Park.
Buster Posey broke a 1-all tie with a liner to right that got past a diving Kemp and scored two runs. Hunter Pence followed with a flare to right-center that fell between Kemp and center fielder Abraham Almonte, allowing Posey to score. The Giants scored three runs in the inning and three more in the eighth.
The rally came just in time to make a winner of Matt Cain, who gave up just one run over six innings.
The Padres went up early when Jedd Gyorko smacked a hanger off the facing of the second deck in left field. Cain was in trouble again in the third, giving up a one-out single to Abraham Almonte and a double to Kemp. He buckled down with two outs, getting Gyorko to strike out on a nasty slider low and away.
James Shields, formerly of the runner-up Royals, dominated in the early innings, giving up just three hits and striking out seven in the first five frames. That would be his entire day, though, as a high pitch count (96) sent Shields to the bench after 15 outs.
The Giants would tie the game against his replacement, Marcos Mateo. Brandon Belt launched a solo shot to deep right-center to pick up his first homer in over a month.
The Giants followed their seventh-inning push with three more runs in the eighth. Brandon Crawford hit his 14th homer of the season.
Starting pitching report: Cain has alternated good with bad since coming off the DL. In his second start, he gave up two hits over six scoreless innings against the Mets. The Diamondbacks roughed Cain up a bit in his third start, but this one was much better: 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts.
Bullpen report: On the day he was brought off the DL, Jeremy Affeldt gave up a hit and walk and was pulled without recording an out.
At the plate: Belt became the third Giant to reach double-digit homers, joining Buster Posey (14) and Crawford (14). He is on pace for 17 dingers, which would tie his career-high.
In the field: Not a great day for the right fielders. Kemp was a bit of a mess and Pence dropped a pop-up to shallow right, picking up his second error of the year.
Attendance: The Padres announced a crowd of 38,435 human beings on Way Back Wednesday.
Up next: A day off! The A’s bring Jesse Chavez, Mr. TBA and Kendall Graveman to AT&T Park over the weekend, with the Giants throwing Jake Peavy, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson.