SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants, baseball's hottest team with 13 wins in their past 14 games, maintained their dominance of the San Diego Padres as Brandon Crawford drilled a two-out, walk-off single to give the National League West leaders a 4-3 victory Wednesday and a sweep of the
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants, baseball's hottest team with 13 wins in their past 14 games, maintained their dominance of the San Diego Padres as Brandon Crawford drilled a two-out, walk-off single to give the National League West leaders a 4-3 victory Wednesday and a sweep of the three-game series. The Giants have won all nine games between the two clubs this season, marking their first nine-game winning streak against the Padres in franchise history.
With the score tied at 3, Matt Duffy sparked the Giants' winning rally off reliever Brad Hand with a one-out single to center field. One out later, Hand flung a wild pitch on an 0-2 delivery to Crawford. The All-Star shortstop drove the next pitch to deep center, out of Jon Jay's reach. It was San Francisco's fifth walk-off victory of the season, a Major League high.
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"When you're going well, these games tend to go in your favor," Duffy said. "A big reason they go in our favor is, we're playing good baseball for the most part -- making the routine plays, making the other team beat themselves. They're a ton of fun, which is a big thing. When you're having fun, that makes it easier to go to the ballpark every day."
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With the Giants leading, 3-1, in the eighth inning, Yangervis Solarte delivered a two-run homer off Josh Osich -- his first of the season. Before that, Giants starter Jake Peavy yielded one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, interrupting a five-start stretch during which he went 0-4 with a 9.58 ERA. Padres starter James Shields surrendered two runs and five hits in six innings -- but again he didn't receive much run support, and the Padres fell to 2-8 in his starts.
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"Our job is to outpitch the other guys, and we're not getting it done," said Shields, who lowered his ERA to 3.06 on the season. "Yeah, we're pitching good, but we've got to find a way to win those games."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tough read: The Padres had a chance to go in front in the top of the 10th, when Jay blooped a single to right field. But Wil Myers, who was on second base at the time, couldn't quite judge the depth of the baseball and had to be held at third base with one out. He was stranded there after Solarte went down swinging and Matt Kemp bounced to shortstop.
"When you don't get the depth of it right away, it can be tough to read," said Padres manager Andy Green. "That's something that had he broke right away, it would've been a close play at the plate. It would've been a tough send for [third-base coach Glenn Hoffman] over there anyway -- Gregor Blanco's got a good arm. We ended up with a first-and-third situation with the heart of the order coming up."
Kelby, willing and able: Making his second professional start in left field, Kelby Tomlinson wowed observers by throwing out Solarte, who tried to score from second base on Melvin Upton Jr.'s first-inning single. Tomlinson unleashed a throw that reached catcher Trevor Brown on the fly.
Just looking: For each of his first five strikeouts, Shields got a Giants hitter to watch strike three go by. Of those backward K's, three came on the cutter -- which had some serious movement Wednesday. Shields' sixth and final strikeout came when Jarrett Parker couldn't hold up on a curveball in the dirt.
"I felt pretty good overall," Shields said. "I think my curveball was probably the one pitch I felt really good with today. But when you face a team two times in a row, you've got to mix it up a little bit."
Not so routine after all: Crawford's popup with one out and one on in the eighth inning was anything but routine. Padres catcher Derek Norris misplayed the ball, allowing it to land in fair territory, then threw wide of second, but the runner, Brandon Belt, was injured on the play -- and while he was on the ground in pain behind second base, he was tagged for the second out of the inning. Belt exited with a left ankle sprain but hopes to play Friday. More >
Crawford should know: As the Giants' shortstop, Crawford is involved in enough defensive shifts to realize when he can capitalize on a team being caught out of position. This occurred in the second inning, when he raced from first to third on Jarrett Parker's groundout. Crawford noticed that third base was undefended, so he took the extra 90 feet without a challenge. He then scored on Tomlinson's single to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Padres: After an off-day Thursday, the Padres face the D-backs in Arizona at 6:40 p.m. PT Friday with Christian Friedrich scheduled to make his third start for San Diego. Friedrich was impressive in his Padres debut, but he looked shaky in his second outing, last Friday against the Dodgers. First baseman Wil Myers (left forearm tightness) is expected back in the lineup.
Giants: Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will begin a three-city, 10-game trip in Denver to play a weekend series against the Colorado Rockies. Right-hander Matt Cain will start Friday's 5:40 p.m. PT series opener for San Francisco.
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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
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.