sfgate.com photo: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will be leaving the team at the end of the month, after being honored with artwork posted on the outfield wall commemorating his fine handy work in San Francisco. Later Pablo Sandoval got a seventh inning standing ovation coming in to possibly hit for the last time as a Giant.
By Lewis Rubman
San Diego: 8 | 13 | 0
San Francisco: 4 | 7 | 0
SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants sent Jeff Samardzija to the mound this afternoon at Oracle Park, seeking to salvage a split in their four-game series against the San Diego Padres. The Shark (9-10, 3.38 ERA) had pitched well in his last outing, allowing only one run on three hits in five innings of work against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The negative side of performance is that it took him 92 pitches to complete those five frames and that he also granted three free passes in the process. The Padres came away with three games out of four to win the series in the Sunday 8-4 victory.
The Pads chose 24-year-old left-hander Eric Lauer (7-8, 4.48 ERA) to oppose the home team. He had pitched adequately in his last appearance, which was against the Dodgers. His three earned runs, including two homers, in six innings qualified him for the meaningless category of a quality start.
The teams entered the contest with records of 63-72 for the visiting Friars and 66-69 for their hosts from the City of Saint Francis.
Greg García started things rolling early in the game, slamming a line drive home run to right on Samardzija’s eighth pitch. It was the Padres’ shortstop’s fourth round tripper of the season and the first lead off dinger of his career.
A pair of doubles to right by Nick Martini and Eric Hosmer, sandwiching a ground out by Manny Machado, doubled the visitor’s early lead. Josh Naylor’s infield single moved Hosmer up to third, putting runners on the corners with one out. Then Smardzja got out of trouble, ending the inning by getting Wil Myers to hit into a double play, Crawford to Solano at second to Aramis García, just recalled from Sacramento, at first.
Kevin Pillar knotted the game up shortly afterwards when, with Solano on base with a leadoff single and one down, he dumped Lauer’s 82 mph slider into the alleyway that separates the grandstand from the left field bleachers. After one, the game was tied at two.
Ty France untied it with his third home run of 2019, this one into the left field bleachers and coming on an 84 mph slider, with the bases empty and one out in the second.
Once the Shark had retired the Padres for the inning, the Giants unveiled a plaque between the Chevron and Toyota advertisements on the left field fence to honor their soon to be retired manager, Bruce Bochy. The text of the plaque is, “Thank you BOCH!”
No one scored until the visitors’ sixth. Hosmer led off the top of that inning with a triple to left center. He held on at third when Naylor bounced out unassisted to Belt at first. Then Wil Myers sent a weak bouncing ball down the third base line. Longoria charged it, but apparently doubting his ability to cut Hosmer down at the plate and thinking the ball would go foul, jumped over it, and the ball ended up in left field while Myers wound up at second base.
After Smardzija walked Allen Austin, Bochy removed his starter and brought in Fernando Abad, whose first pitch Ty France blasted over the right field wall, to give San Diego a 7-2 lead.
Samardzija’s line for the day was 5 1/3 innings pitched, six runs, all earned, on nine hits and one walk. He struck out two. 71 of his 109 pitches were strikes. He took the loss.
In the Giants’ half of the frame, Longoria atoned for his misplay by hitting his 18th home run of the season, a blast over the fence in straight away center field with Slater on base to narrow the gap to 7-4. Lauer responded by fanning the next two Giant batters.
Conner Menez came out to pitch the top of the seventh, but after he surrendered a one out double to Machado, the left handed reliever came out of the game, giving way to Sam Coonrod, who closed down the Padres by getting Manuel Margot hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Right-hander Luis Perdomo replaced Lauer to open the San Francisco seventh. Lauer, who would get the win, left the game with six innings to his credit, in which he gave up four runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out nine of his opponents and didn’t walk any.
The crowd came alive when Pablo Sandoval was announced as a pinch-hitter for Coonrad with one on and one out in the seventh. He hustled down the line after hitting a grounder to third, but the Panda never was a speedster.
Sandoval’s pinch hitting appearance was a prelude to Shaun Anderson’s entry into the game in the top of the eighth. He set the Padres down 1-2-3, with two Ks.
That was a good pitching performance, but nowhere near as exciting as the one Andrés Muõoz provided when he took over against the Giants in the bottom half of the inning. He struck out Mike Yastremski, htting for Slater, when he took something off his 100 mph fast ball to get him with a pitch that measured one less mph by the stadium gun. Then he fanned Pillar on an 86 mph slider. The third strike against Longoria was a called one, a 100 mph fastball that followed out that came in at 101.
San Diego got some additional insurance in their last go-round. With Anderson still on the mound for the Giants, Travis Janbowksy, who had entered the game in a double switch two innings previously, got a leadoff single to center and scored all the way from first on the much booed Manny Machado’s single to right.
David Bednar came in to wrap it up for the Padres in the ninth. Three batters and three outfield fly outs later, he’d done it.
The loss dropped the Giants’ record to 66-90 and left them when the game ended seven games out of wild card contention. It also whittled their elimination number to 20 with only 26 games left in the season.
The Giants fly to St. Louis for a game tomorrow afternoon. They will send RHP Tyler Beede (3-8, 5.56 ERA) against fellow RHP Adam Wainwright (9-9, 4.52 ERA) for the NL Central-leading Cardinals.