Shark attacked: Homers, Cahill carry Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Two loud swings from Hector Sanchez and Cory Spangenberg gave the Padres an early six-run lead on Sunday afternoon. Veteran right-hander Trevor Cahill made it stand up, as the Padres cruised to a 7-1 series-clinching victory over the Giants at Petco Park.
Sanchez, who hit a walk-off homer from the right side on Saturday night, put forth quite the encore in the bottom of the first. Batting lefty this time, he crushed a 1-0 Jeff Samardzija offering for a three-run shot. Sanchez has filled in quite nicely for starting catcher Austin Hedges, who was shaken up after taking a foul ball off the mask on Friday night.
"You're looking for opportunity to help your team win," Sanchez said. "It's a bad thing Hedges is hurt. That's not the way you want to [get in the lineup]. But you have to be there for your team, you have to be ready."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy pointed out the often slender difference between a big inning and a shutout inning.
"That inning began with an 0-2 pitch that hit a batter [Carlos Asuaje]," Bochy said. "Sometimes you need to throw your put-away pitches [earlier], your 'chase' pitches."
Spangenberg added a three-run tater of his own in the third -- also on an 0-2 pitch -- after a failed squeeze attempt earlier in the at-bat. Cahill cruised from there. He allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings, while striking out eight.
• Cahill ties Giants in knots
It was his Cahill's longest start since April 21, as he continues to put his shoulder ailment in the rear-view mirror.
"They put some balls in play early," Cahill said. "After the offense does a good job like that, you try to go out there and just pound the zone."
Samardzija, a fellow trade candidate, also struck out eight, but he was tagged for seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Offensively, Denard Span had three hits for the Giants, but he was stranded in scoring position all three times.
The Padres have taken all three of their series against San Francisco this season. They've also won three straight series overall for the first time since 2015. The Giants now head home for a 10-game homestand.
• Giants head home for crucial homestand
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cycling team: The Padres came out swinging in the first inning against Samardzija. William Myers singled before Sanchez's homer, and two batters later Spangenberg tripled. Erick Aybar would complete a team cycle in the inning with an RBI double into the right-field corner, putting the Friars on top, 4-0.
Rally-killer:Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford responded with consecutive doubles to open the second inning, plating the Giants' only run. Crawford advanced to third on a wild pitch but wouldn't get any farther. Cahill struck out Nick Hundley and Joe Panik, before getting Samardzija to bounce back to the mound, stifling the Giants' only real chance to claw their way back into the game.
"The home runs; I'm partial to those." -- Padres manager Andy Green when asked what he liked best about Sanchez's at-bats this weekend
Since joining the Padres last May, Sanchez has torched his former club with eight hits in 16 at-bats. The veteran backstop has eight homers with San Diego, four of which have come against the Giants.
"It's kind of fun," Sanchez said. "I was a Giant my whole career. … They were my old teammates, my brothers."
Giants: San Francisco opens a 10-game homestand, matching its longest of the season, with an Interleague encounter against the Indians on Monday. Matt Moore, who will start the series opener for the Giants, hopes to reverse his sagging fortunes, which are illustrated by the 7.43 ERA he posted in his last three starts.
Padres: The Padres open a three-game set in Colorado at 5:40 p.m. PT Monday with Luis Perdomo looking to build on his solid finish to the first half. In his final four starts, the righty sinker-baller posted a 2.82 ERA, and his 67 percent ground-ball rate is tops among pitchers with as many innings.
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