SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres wouldn't lay down easily Tuesday night, and thanks to a breakout five-run ninth inning, highlighted by Ryan Schimpf's three-run homer, they overcame a three-run deficit to defeat the Giants, 6-4, at AT&T Park.
After dropping nine straight to the Giants to start the season, the Padres have now won their last five contests against San Francisco -- whose loss proved especially costly, as the Cardinals and Mets gained a game on them in the National League Wild Card race.
Since arriving in the big leagues in mid-June, Schimpf has been an extra-base machine. Of his 54 hits this year, 39 have gone for extra bases, including 19 homers. He's five shy of tying the franchise's rookie record, and four shy of the record for a Padres second baseman -- and he didn't hit his first dinger until July 1.
"It's incredible to watch," said Padres first baseman Wil Myers. "Every time he comes up, I think he's going to homer."
Schimpf's big fly came after the Padres mounted a rally against San Francisco relief pitcher Hunter Strickland, with a trio of soft base hits and a bases-loaded walk from Myers. Yangervis Solarte then chopped into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. But the ball bounced off Strickland's glove and resulted in just one out. It all set the stage for Schimpf, and the second baseman crushed Steven Okert's 1-2 fastball an estimated 425 feet, according to Statcast™.
"It's a big park out there," Schimpf said. "I just hit it, and it was kind of a blur. I just started running as fast as I could. It was definitely a good feeling to get it out."
Said Okert: "I just missed one pitch and we lost the game."
The Giants have now blown six of their 10 save chances in September. They are tied with Miami for the most blown saves in the NL this season with 27. The club has also lost seven games in which it led after eight innings. The ninth-inning performance spoiled five solid innings from Albert Suárez, as well three scoreless innings from the bullpen up to that point.
• Giants share blame for ninth-inning woes
"Up until that inning it couldn't have gone better," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "We did a lot of good things and just had some tough luck in that ninth inning. We're pretty well set in the 'pen, just didn't work out tonight because of some bad luck."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pitchers who rake: Padres reliever Jake Smith once served as a groundskeeper for the Giants' Class A affiliate in Augusta. On Tuesday, he took the hill in a different capacity: as a big league reliever. Smith, who debuted last week against Boston, picked up his first career win by escaping a two-on, none-out jam in the eighth. More >
"Schimpf is the one who did all the work," Smith said. "I just threw up a zero and [Kevin Quackenbush] did right after me. It was crazy, it was fun, and, yeah, it's everything I dreamed, I guess. But it's a team win."
Getting out of a jam: After plunking Myers, George Kontos found himself in a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the seventh. Bochy left him in the game and the decision paid off, as Kontos forced Solarte into a soft flyout to left field.
Swingin' Sardinas:Luis Sardiñas opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when his sinking liner to left plated Derek Norris. Sardinas -- whose next few weeks will serve as a quasi-audition for the starting shortstop job next spring -- has hit safely in five straight games and is batting .306 since joining the Padres last month.
Off a lefty:Ángel Pagán and Brandon Crawford seemed incapable of hitting against left-handed pitchers. Pagan entered Tuesday with just two hits in his last 24 at-bats against them. Crawford hadn't driven in a run against one since July 8. But they both ended their respective cold streaks in the bottom of the fifth. Pagan launched a curveball from Richard into the left-field bleachers. Crawford later lined an RBI single against the left-hander to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.
"What a great job they did, they faced a guy that's been throwing the ball very well and we had some good at-bats," said Bochy. "A lot of good things happened."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
• Tuesday's contest saw three of four challenges overturned, the first of which came in the bottom of the second inning, when San Diego starter Clayton Richard caught Crawford off first with a pickoff throw. Initially, it appeared as though Crawford may have eluded the tag with a clever dive, but replays proved otherwise.
• Pagan chopped a grounder up the middle in the third, and after the ball bounced off Richard's glove, Sardinas fired a strike to first to get Pagan. However, the Giants challenged the call, arguing that Myers' foot came off the bag, and the ruling was overturned.
• Of the three challenges, the closest call came in the bottom of the third, when Myers fielded a slow chopper and stepped on first before firing home in search of a double play. A sliding Buster Posey was initially ruled safe at the plate, but replays showed he had instead slid directly into Norris' shin protector. Because Norris had provided a more-than-adequate lane to the plate, the call was overturned.
"Only probably a couple first basemen in the game are athletic enough to make that play," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He got to the ball quickly, stepped on the bag in perfect rhythm and put the throw right where it needed to be. And that was a great tag by D-No."
• With runners at first and second and one out in the seventh, Sardinas hit a grounder to Posey, who started a potentially inning-ending double play. Sardinas was ruled safe. But the Giants challenged that Jon Jay interfered with Crawford's throw. After a review, the call was confirmed.
"He was an unbelievable find by our pro scouting department -- a Minor League free agent that had that kind of pop and that kind of patience." -- Green on Schimpf
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Schimpf became the first Padres hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later at AT&T Park since Adrián González did so in 2008.
Padres: Among pitchers with at least 100 innings this season, Luis Perdomo owns the highest ground-ball rate in the National League (59 percent). The rookie right-hander will put that to the test against a good low-ball hitting team in Wednesday afternoon's series finale. First pitch is slated for 12:45 p.m. PT.
Giants:Madison Bumgarner will look to win his 100th career game when the Giants conclude their three-game set with the Padres on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. PT. Bumgarner would become the third-youngest pitcher in franchise history to reach the milestone.
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