SAN DIEGO -- Given the state of the Giants' starting rotation, Derek Holland's impact upon the ballclub remained unmistakable Monday night.Holland was in line for the decision until the Giants squandered an eighth-inning lead to the Padres yet ultimately prevailed in 12 innings, 5-3.Gorkys Hernandez, leading off the 12th against
SAN DIEGO -- Given the state of the Giants' starting rotation, Derek Holland's impact upon the ballclub remained unmistakable Monday night.
Holland was in line for the decision until the Giants squandered an eighth-inning lead to the Padres yet ultimately prevailed in 12 innings, 5-3.
Gorkys Hernandez, leading off the 12th against left-hander Matt Strahm with the score tied, 3-3, reached the second deck in the left-field stands with his 13th homer of the season.
"That gave us a jolt," said left-hander Will Smith (1-1), who struck out all four batters he faced and finished the four-hour, one-minute struggle for the Giants.
San Francisco added a run as Kelby Tomlinson singled, advanced on Andrew McCutchen's single and scored on Buster Posey's bloop to the outfield that forced McCutchen at second base.
McCutchen went 3-for-5, which could increase the volume of rumors claiming that the Yankees, Phillies and Indians might be interested in acquiring him before today's non-waiver Trade Deadline. But Holland insisted that the Giants, who trail National League West-leading Los Angeles by 5 1/2 games and are five back in the Wild Card chase, want to stay together and launch their own push for a postseason berth.
"We don't want to turn into a sell-mode team," Holland said.
In fact, Holland has remained upbeat about the Giants all year. And he has buoyed himself, as well as the team, with his effort.
His pitching line Monday was nothing extraordinary. He allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, walking two and striking out five. That has been his standard performance in a season that has featured a 5-8 record with a 3.90 ERA.
But 90 percent of life is being there, as Woody Allen is said to have stated, and Holland has accomplished exactly that for the Giants. This alone merited appreciation on a day when Johnny Cueto went on the disabled list en route to possible Tommy John surgery and Jeff Samardzija spent another day on the DL.
Holland leads the team with 20 starts, one more than the ailing Samardzija and Cueto combined.
Holland also tops the staff with 114 strikeouts, which pairs handsomely with his team-high 113 innings.
"Any way to help the team," Holland said. "It shows I've still got it."
Imagine the odds you could have gotten in Las Vegas during March if you proposed a bet claiming that Holland, who wasn't on the roster in Spring Training, would be the team's hungriest innings-eater.
Success is nothing new for Holland, who won 38 games for Texas from 2011-13. Injuries plagued him in succeeding seasons. But he has always been there when the Giants needed him.
The same could be said of other Giants in this game. Chase d'Arnaud, whose name isn't exactly synonymous with home runs, hit his third round-tripper in 39 at-bats as a Giant to give San Francisco a 3-0 edge in the second inning. Brandon Crawford and Austin Slater singled in front of d'Arnaud's drive off Padres starter Eric Lauer.
San Francisco's offense then went into hibernation, forcing the bullpen to keep the Giants afloat.
Reyes Moronta, who ought to be mentioned in any discussion involving this year's most valuable Giant, contributed two scoreless innings in his 50th appearance of the season.
San Diego pulled even in the eighth off Mark Melancon as Eric Hosmer lined a one-out single and scored on Christian Villanueva's double. But rookie right-hander Ray Black helped stabilize the Giants with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
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Second baseman Joe Panik rejoined the Giants, summoned by the team from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment following a groin strain. This was no ordinary recall, however. Panik actually played in part of Triple-A Sacramento's game against Iowa, going 1-for-2, before he was told to join the big club. Panik is believed to be the second big leaguer in four years to appear in Minor League and Major League games on the same day.
It wasn't an easy trip for Panik. He flew out of Oakland and estimated that he collected his baggage at the San Diego airport 10 minutes before game time.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Giants appeared to receive a break in the sixth inning when d'Arnaud was ruled safe at second base on a potential force play. As it turned out, replay reviews proved that shortstop Freddy Galvis' foot indeed beat d'Arnaud to the bag. The call was overturned, and the Giants' threat faded.
Dereck Rodriguez will make his 10th start for the Giants when he confronts San Diego in Tuesday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale. San Francisco has emerged victorious in seven of his previous nine starts. That figures, since he has allowed two runs or fewer in six consecutive outings. He'll oppose a familiar foe, Padres lefty Clayton Richard.
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.1