SAN FRANCISCO — If Bruce Bochy had other options, the odds are good that Ryan Vogelsong would not have started Tuesday night.
The veteran right-hander gave up four homers in his last start, but the Giants are without Jake Peavy and Matt Cain and already have recalled Chris Heston from Triple-A. So Vogelsong got another chance, and he grabbed the opportunity by the throat.
Vogelsong threw seven shutout innings to pace a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres that was the fifth straight overall and eighth straight at AT&T Park. It was also the third consecutive shutout for the Giants, who are riding a red-hot starting staff. Since Vogelsong’s implosion at Dodger Stadium, Giants starters have a 0.98 ERA.
The Brandons gave Vogelsong a 2-0 lead in the second when Belt hit a leadoff double and Crawford followed with a walk. Belt scored on Justin Maxwell’s single to center and Crawford alertly took third, which allowed him to score on Matt Duffy’s groundout.
Buster Posey lined a two-out single in the third and Belt followed with a walk. Crawford’s single scored a run and both Brandons raced home when Yangervis Solarte whiffed on Gregor Blanco’s two-out grounder to first.
Joe Panik made it 6-0 an inning later with a leadoff homer.
Starting pitching report: Tuesday was the first time since last April 27 that Vogelsong went seven shutout innings and allowed three-or-fewer hits. He was charged with three hits and two walks and struck out four. Vogelsong lowered his ERA from 9.31 to 6.84 and picked up his first win of the season.
Bullpen report: After a runner got to second with one out in the eighth, George Kontos struck out Solarte and Matt Kemp.
At the plate: Giants coaches have long believed that there’s more power in Panik’s bat, and he did hit 22 homers in parts of four minor league seasons. That’s not a lot, but it’s more than the one he had as a rookie. Panik now has two homers into the arcade in his last four games. Every little bit helps for a team trying to make up for the losses of Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval and the injury to Hunter Pence.
In the field: A tip of the cap to bench coach Ron Wotus, who has really pushed the Giants to shift more often the past two years. Shortstop Brandon Crawford jogged over and stood a few feet on the other side of second base when Derek Norris came up in the second inning. Norris hit a grounder right to Crawford, who got an easy out on what would have been a single up the middle.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,358 People Who Were Checking Their Phones Constantly For Warriors Updates.
Up next: Chris Heston, the surprising rookie, takes a 2-2 record and 2.51 ERA into the series finale. He’ll face right-hander Ian Kennedy, who was pulled with an injury when the Giants played in San Diego early last month.