[April 21, 2014]SAN DIEGO — Catcher Buster Posey
put the struggling Giants on the board with a two-run homer in the first
and Tim Lincecum limited the San Diego Padres to three runs on seven
hits over six-plus innings Sunday afternoon as San Francisco snapped a
three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win.
Center fielder Angel Pagan followed Posey's first-inning blast
with a two-run single in the second to give San Francisco a quick
4-0 lead. The four runs were one fewer than the slumping Giants had
scored in their last four games combined.
The Giants' one-run win, which also included a successful appeal at
the plate that took a Padres run off the board, was San Francisco's
fifth in a string of nine, one-run decisions in the last 10 games.
"Unbelievable," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "I've been in a few
runs where you played tight games, but never like this."
Lincecum (1-1, 6.43 earned run average) threw a no-hitter at Petco
Park last July 13. He improved to 14-6 in his career against the
Padres and is 8-3 lifetime at Petco Park.
The Padres had a crucial run taken off the scoreboard in the third
when Giants manager Bruce Bochy made a successful appeal of a safe
call at home by plate umpire Mike DiMuro.
With the Padres trailing 4-0, third baseman Chase Headley pulled a
bases-loaded double into the right-field corner off Lincecum.
Center fielder Will Venable and left fielder Seth Smith scored
easily and DiMuro ruled right fielder Xavier Nady scored from first
by avoiding Posey's tag at the plate. Bochy appealed and replays
showed Posey had tagged out Nady. The Padres didn't question the
"Obviously, that changed the game today," Bochy said. "That's the
toughest call to make in baseball."
"A couple of guys came in said they got Nady," said Padres manager
"I felt the tag on my back," Nady said. "I felt Posey tagged me
before I reached the plate. What I didn't know is if he held onto
the ball until I got to the dugout."
Said Headley of the play: "I was hoping he snuck in there and he got
the call right, or that the video was inconclusive."
Instead of having the tying run on third and two out, the Padres
were out of the inning and trailing by two.
The significance of that came into play in the bottom of the seventh
when Padres catcher Nick Hundley lined Lincecum's first pitch of the
inning — and last of the game — over the wall in left for a solo
homer that made it 4-3. The 369-foot drive, Hundley's first homer of
the season, came on a changeup.
Padres starting left-hander Robbie Erlin (1-2, 4.15 ERA) finished
strong for the Padres, retiring the last 14 Giants he faced.
But he struggled early with his command and control as the Giants
scored twice in each of the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead — a huge edge against a Padres team that had been averaging 2.8 runs
Walks were Erlin's downfall.
He walked right fielder Hunter Pence with one out in the first
immediately ahead of Posey's 427-foot, first-pitch drive into the
Padres bullpen in left center.
"I think my timing's been off a little bit," Posey said. "I think on
was on time much better today."
Said Hundley: "That was a good pitch Posey hit, a pitcher's pitch.
It was a fastball down and away."
In the second, the Giants loaded the bases with one out on a single
by shortstop Brandon Crawford sandwiched by walks to second baseman
Brandon Hicks and Lincecum. Center fielder Angel Pagan singled home
Hicks and Crawford to make it 4-0 — although Erlin retired Pence on
a pop to third and Posey on a fly to center to prevent further
"I lacked first-pitch strikes in the first and second," Erlin said.
"Early, the curve was a little up and a little down. Later I got a
feel for it."
NOTES: The Giants didn't get a hit after the second inning Sunday
and finished with 12 hits in the three-game series. ... Six of C
Nick Hundley's last 14 homers — and 12 of his 47 career homers — have come against the Giants. ... Padres SS Everth Cabrera had his
eighth multi-hit game of the season Sunday. He has hit safely in 11
of his last 12 games. ... Each team rested slumping regulars Sunday.
3B Pablo Sandoval (.171) was given Easter off by the Giants. The
Padres rested 2B Jedd Gyorko (.148 and hitless in 10 straight
at-bats) and 1B Yonder Alonso (.206). Both Gyorko and Alonso were
retired as pinch hitters Sunday.