SAN DIEGO — Only one thing could stop the Giants on an eight-day trip through Phoenix and San Diego: The day off.
Other than Monday’s breather, the Giants went to sleep every night having pocketed a win. A 3-1 victory at Petco Park on Thursday night clinched a 7-0 trip, the first for the franchise since the 1913 team went 8-0 on a trip in the middle of the summer.
Following complete games by Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija allowed just three hits and struck out eight in eight innings. He retired the final 19 hitters he faced and was pulled only because manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give the MLB leader in pitches thrown a breather. Samardzija threw 105 pitches, the final one a 96 mph fastball.
Buster Posey’s sacrifice fly gave Samardzija an early lead, and while he gave the run back in the top of the second, he did work around trouble to prevent further damage. Jon Jay hit a leadoff double in the first and was stranded. Alexi Amarista reached third with two down in the second but Samardzija struck out opposing pitcher James Shields.
An error — one of two outfield misplays by the Padres — helped the Giants jump ahead 2-1 in the fourth. Matt Kemp dropped Matt Duffy’s shallow fly to right, and Duffy alertly took second on the play. He scored three batters later on Hunter Pence’s single.
Shields pitched well, but the Giants tacked another run on in the seventh when Brandon Crawford parked a shot just over the wall in deep right. Samardzija breezed through the bottom of that frame, and by the end of the seventh he had retired 16 straight. After an easy eighth, his night was over.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija finished the night at 64 1/3 innings for the season, putting him third in the National League behind Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto. Madison Bumgarner is tied for fifth. Yes, the Giants top three starters are all in the top five in the league in innings pitched. Bobby Evans is a happy man right now.
Bullpen report: Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth. Cory Gearrin and Josh Osich warmed up, but the rest of the relievers spent yet another evening sitting in hoodies.
At the plate: Crawford’s seventh-inning homer was his sixth of the season. Rookies Trevor Story and Corey Seager are the only National League shortstops with more.
In the field: Pence perfectly judged Jay’s deep fly to right in the sixth, making a leaping catch before crashing into the LED board on the wall.
Attendance: The Padres announced a crowd of 26,417 human beings who watched some fun scoreboard games that were way better than Kiss Cam.
Up next: The even-year champs vs. the early favorites to win it all in 2016. The matchups this weekend are … Jake Peavy vs. Jake Arrieta; Matt Cain vs. Jon Lester, Madison Bumgarner vs. Kyle Hendricks.