San Diego Padres’ Hector Sanchez celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run walk-off home run against the San Francisco Giants during a baseball game Saturday, July 15, 2017, in San Diego. The Padres won 5-3.(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez took advantage of a rare start behind the plate for San Diego Saturday, belting a two-run, walk-off home run lifting the Padres past San Francisco 5-3 at Petco Park.
The ex-Giant’s game-winner was his fourth homer of the season. The first three came as a pinch-hitter.
Madison Bumgarner made his first start for the Giants since returning from a nearly three-month stay on the disabled list after suffering a left shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident. Bumgarner, who worked seven innings, struck out the side in the first inning and retired the first seven batters he faced.
Bumgarner appeared to pick up his All-Star form. The veteran left-hander gave up three runs on four hits, struck out five and issued two walks while throwing 102 pitches.
Padres reliever Brandon Maurer (1-4) picked up the win in San Diego’s sixth victory in its last nine games. Losing pitcher Cory Gearrin (3-3) faced only one batter but took the loss.
Gearrin gave up a base hit to Jabari Blash, who scored the winning run on the Sanchez home run, sending San Francisco to its sixth loss its last eight games.
San Diego starter Jhoulys Chacin worked six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out four and walking four. He failed to win his third straight start.
Joe Panik tied the game for the Giants at 3-3 with a solo home run in the sixth inning, his sixth round-tripper of the season.
Blash earlier gave the Padres a 3-2 lead with a two-run, 424-foot shot in the fourth inning. It was Blash’s second homer of the year, and his first since April 25. He was called up from Triple-A El Paso on Friday.
Matt Szczur homered in the third inning off Bumgarner for San Diego.
Prior to the game, San Francisco placed right-hander Johnny Cueto on the disabled list to address blisters on his throwing hand. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media he’s hopeful Cueto will miss only two starts. Matt Cain, who was headed to the bullpen, will return to the Giants rotation while Cueto is on the mend.