SAN DIEGO — This was the night you really felt the absence of Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt.
Over parts of three games, the Giants staff went 22 straight innings without allowing a run. Tim Lincecum did his part Friday, pitching seven strong, but the lineup couldn’t get to Brandon Morrow and the Padres won 1-0 with a late run.
The decisive rally started when pinch-hitter Clint Barmes drew a one-out walk off Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth. Wil Myers hit a shot off the wall in right and Gregor Blanco couldn’t field the bounce cleanly. Barmes came all the way around from first, scoring when Joe Panik’s throw took Hector Sanchez up the line.
The Giants had just five hits and have scored just one run in two games here in San Diego. Luckily for the hitters, their own pitching has been so good that the teams go into the weekend with a split.
Starting pitching report: Facing the Padres? Check. Pitching at Petco Park? Check. Chilly weather? Check. Hector Sanchez catching? Check. The stars were aligned for Lincecum to have a good one, and he delivered. He twice has no-hit the Padres in his career and he allowed just one one hit — a ball that was foul and then weirdly spun back onto the infield — through the first four innings.
Lincecum gave up four hits, walked three (two were intentional) and struck out five in seven rhythmic innings. His fastball velocity dipped at times, but he hit his spots, worked quickly and had good breaking stuff. Lincecum appeared just about out of gas as he put two on with one out in the seventh, but he got an inning-ending double play and screamed in joy as he hopped over the third-base line.
Bullpen report: Affeldt took the loss after getting hit in the eighth. Of note: Yusmeiro Petit came into a one-run game for short work; maybe Bochy really will use him as a jack-of-all-trades rather than a pure long reliever.
At the plate: It, uh, wasn’t great. The Giants had a few chances, but double plays killed the vibe. Angel Pagan lined into one in the first, Brandon Crawford hit into one with two on in the fourth and Casey McGehee — last season’s MLB GIDP leader — bounced into one with two on in the seventh. Finally, Pagan hit into a game-ending double play in his rematch with Craig Kimbrel.
In the field: You could choose the Crawford play from deep in the hole as the highlight of this one, but let’s spread the love. Nori Aoki sprinted a long, long way to chase down Derek Norris’ leadoff smash to the gap in the fifth inning. Given that the next batter singled to left, it was a pretty huge play.
Attendance: This place was back to being AT&T Park South. Those savvy SoCal Giants fans let the locals have the home opener, but showed up with force Friday, giving the Giants a good chunk of the announced crowd of 40,015. The majority of those wearing blue spent the night booing the gum-tossing Pagan.
Up next: Madison Bumgarner vs. James Shields. Again. The two faced off in Game 1 and Game 5 of the World Series, with Bumgarner winning both times. “It’s hard to believe it’s happening this early in the season,” manager Bruce Bochy said Friday. “It’s good for baseball … I think fans will have fun with it. I look forward to it.” Shields probably feels differently.