SAN DIEGO — It didn’t matter that they threw a split-squad lineup out on the field, or that their starting pitcher couldn’t make it through five. All that mattered Tuesday night was that the Giants picked up another win and continued to keep hope alive.
They beat the Padres 4-2 at Petco Park and 120 miles up the freeway the Dodgers fell 8-0 to the Diamondbacks. That swing allowed the Giants to make up ground for a third straight day and get their National League West deficit to six for the first time since Sept. 1.
Through three innings, the teams looked like they would make a strange kind of history. Tyson Ross had eight strikeouts and had not allowed a hit up to that point; Chris Heston had given up just a single and had six strikeouts of his own.
The Giants finally got a team on the board in the top of the fifth. Ehire Adrianza drew his second walk in as many plate appearances and Trevor Brown scorched an RBI double to center. The hit was the first of Brown’s brief MLB career.
Heston issued a pair of four-pitch walks and then gave up a single to Yangervis Solarte to load the bases in the bottom of the inning. George Kontos entered and got Matt Kemp to pop up to first. On a 3-2 count, Justin Upton hit a mammoth fly to deep center and Angel Pagan and Alejandro De Aza nearly collided before Pagan gloved it for the final out of the inning.
The Giants added an insurance run in the sixth when De Aza reached on an infield single, stole second, and raced home on Brandon Crawford’s single through the right side. The Padres got two homers off the Giants' bullpen, but Pagan put the game out of reach with a two-run shot in the seventh that fell inches beyond Matt Kemp's glove. The homer was Pagan's third of the month.
Starting pitching report: Heston had good stuff but no way to harness it. He struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings but also walked five. The two walks in the fifth both came on four pitches and one of them was of Ross.
Bullpen report: Kontos gave up a solo homer in his second inning of work, but he temporarily saved the game in the fifth. It’s nearly October and the right-hander has a 1.90 ERA. That, my friends, is how you vault yourself into arbitration for the first time.
At the plate: Pagan’s homer was his third in his last 15 games. His last blast before this little streak? You have to go all the way back to May 2, 2014.
In the field: Billy Hayes made the best play in this one, reaching up with his left hand to calmly snag a chopper that was foul and then whipping it to a fan down the first base line. Based on that play alone, we’re giving him an A+ for his rookie season as first base coach.
Attendance: They didn't announce it. It wouldn't have been a big number.
Up next: Longtime Padre Jake Peavy faces longtime beard-enthusiast Andrew Cashner.