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Crawford continues All-Star push in Giants' win

Suarez holds Padres to 1 run over 5 2/3
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Given Brandon Crawford's productivity thus far, it could safely be assumed that the 0-for-18 skid he took into Saturday's game against the San Diego Padres wouldn't last much longer. It didn't.

VOTE Crawford on 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Given Brandon Crawford's productivity thus far, it could safely be assumed that the 0-for-18 skid he took into Saturday's game against the San Diego Padres wouldn't last much longer. It didn't.

VOTE Crawford on 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage

Crawford turned the third-longest hitless streak of his career into a mere memory as he went 3-for-3 with three RBIs in the Giants' 5-3 triumph over the San Diego Padres.

Crawford tripled home Andrew McCutchen in the fourth inning to open the Giants' scoring before doubling home Alen Hanson and Brandon Belt in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.

"I felt like I was seeing the ball well," Crawford said. "My timing might have been just a little bit off. It was a matter of finding a hole, hitting it to a spot where they couldn't catch it."

Video: SD@SF: Crawford plates Cutch with triple to right

Crawford also doubled and scored in the eighth to help cement the Giants' fourth victory in five games.

That late run proved crucial, since Crawford, winner of the National League's last three Gold Glove Awards at shortstop, committed a ninth-inning throwing error that enabled the Padres to bring the potential tying run to the plate.

Crawford raised his batting average to .313, top among the Giants. He also hiked his RBI total to 35, matching Belt's team-high figure.

Any difficulties Crawford might have endured at the plate would be understandable. He began this week with a three-day paternity leave to be present as his wife, Jalynne, gave birth last Monday to a son, Bryson.

Complementing the Giants' offense was starter Andrew Suarez, who yielded eight hits but just one run in 5 2/3 innings. Suarez escaped the trouble he caused for himself by coaxing three double-play grounders in the first four innings.

Video: SD@SF: Suarez fields grounder, starts double play

Suarez survived despite lacking command of his slider, which is one of the most essential pitches in his repertoire.

"I kept trying to throw it, but it wasn't there today," Suarez said. "So we junked it."

Relying instead on his sinker and changeup, the rookie left-hander walked one and struck out four.

Tension elevated in the eighth inning when Padres right-hander Phil Maton fired a brushback pitch at McCutchen, then hit him with the next delivery. McCutchen jawed briefly at Maton and shot the reliever a glance en route to first base. But tempers did not escalate.

Video: SD@SF: McCutchen gets plunked in the 7th

"Obviously I had no reason to throw at him," Maton said. "I've been on rehab for a month. Executing that up-and-in fastball to a good hitter, I missed my spot. I don't know what else to say about it. He can react how he wants. I wouldn't be happy if I got hit either. But I'm not going to say I'm at my sharpest right now."

"Everybody's entitled to having an off-day," said a becalmed McCutchen after the game. "He's having a good year; he has pretty good numbers [1.53 ERA]. They show that everybody has an off-day, I guess, and I just happened to be the guy he had an off-day against."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Outfielder Austin Slater, freshly recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, contributed immediately by sending home Crawford with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. The Giants expect production at the plate from Slater, who's 3-for-11 during his brief stints in the Majors this year after he hit .282 in 34 games with San Francisco last year.

Video: SD@SF: Slater plates Crawford with sac fly

SOUND SMART
The Giants turned four double plays, matching the most they've had in a game since May 15, 2016, at Arizona.

UP NEXT
The Giants have won three of the four previous games started by Dereck Rodriguez, who's scheduled to take his turn in Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT series finale against the Padres at AT&T Park. Rodriguez has won both of his starts at home while posting a 3.27 ERA in those games. He'll be opposed by Padres lefty Eric Lauer, who will make his second career appearance against San Francisco.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Crawford