SAN DIEGO — Stop us if you’ve read this one before …
“The San Diego Padres didn’t have a hit through five innings against the Giants.”
This time it was Chris Heston, not Tim Lincecum, who chased history at Petco Park. Heston, who no-hit the Mets last month, didn’t give up a knock until the sixth inning of another brilliant effort, leading the Giants to a 9-3 win at Petco Park. The Giants hit three homers, including a mammoth grand slam off the bat of recent call-up Hector Sanchez.
On an unusually humid night in San Diego, Heston at times seemed to have trouble gripping the ball, but the thicker air had his pitches dancing. He cruised through the first three innings on just 41 pitches, setting down nine straight Padres.
Perfection would float away in the fourth. Heston went 3-0 on Yangervis Solarte before getting him to fly out. He went 3-1 on Alexi Amarista before getting him to ground out. Finally, his wildness caught up to him when a fastball got away and smacked Matt Kemp on the left arm.
Heston set down the side in the fifth on two grounders and a strikeout, but Melvin Upton Jr. opened the sixth with a broken-bat flare to center. The no-hit bid was over, but Heston ended up with another ace-like line: 7 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks.
The Giants had 13 hits and five runs in Heston’s no-hitter last month, and they hammered Odrisamer Despaigne, who had allowed just three total runs in 29 2/3 previous innings against the Giants.
Hunter Pence crushed a curveball 440 feet in the second and Brandon Crawford’s three-run homer in the fourth made it 5-0. The biggest blow came from an unlikely source. With one out and two on in the sixth, Dale Thayer intentionally walked Gregor Blanco to load the bases for Hector Sanchez.
In his first start since returning from Triple-A, Sanchez hit a moonshot to right for his second career grand slam and the sixth Giants slam of the season. Sanchez flipped his bat and Thayer didn’t appreciate it, throwing his gum at Sanchez as he approached first. The gum throw, like many of the Padres’ pitches, missed its spot.
Shawn Kelley appeared to throw inside on Sanchez when he came up in the ninth. After Sanchez grounded out, Kelley said some words to him around first and the benches and bullpens cleared. No punches were thrown.
Starting pitching report: Heston now leads the staff with a 3.18 ERA. He is the only MLB rookie with 10 wins; in fact, no other rookie pitcher even has more than six wins. A high pitch count (116 when he was removed) kept him from chasing his second shutout of the season.
Bullpen report: Josh Osich allowed his first runs as a big leaguer. They were unearned.
At the plate: Sanchez drove in one run in his previous 32 plate appearances this season. He drove in, well, four times that with one big swing Tuesday. Both of his grand slams have come after the previous batter was intentionally walked; it also happened in the 11th inning in Denver last April 23.
In the field: Angel Pagan was removed before the bottom of the seventh. Bruce Bochy was likely just getting rest for a player who has two bad knees and looked hobbled while running down the line on a mid-game groundout.
Attendance: The Padres announced a crowd of 35,596 (mostly Giants) fans.
Up next: Matt Cain faces off against James Shields. They could have been teammates.