Triple-happy Giants hold off Padres
SAN FRANCISCO -- Silent with the bats at AT&T Park through much of the season, the San Francisco Giants unleashed an unusual torrent of offense that featured four triples and resulted in a 13-8 victory over the San Diego Padres. San Francisco took two of three from the Padres for its first home series win since a May 19-21 sweep over the Dodgers.
Brandon Belt collected two triples, driving in a first-inning run with the first hit and scoring to ignite a three-run fourth inning after the second. Matt Duffy tripled to help the Giants add a pair of runs in the fifth, and Brandon Crawford tripled home a run in the seventh.
Belt pulled into third base standing up on both hits. "When I sniff a triple, I'm going to turn it on and use those big giraffe strides," he said, referring to his "Baby Giraffe" nickname.
The Giants matched a single-game franchise high for triples in the San Francisco era (since 1958), which they previously reached on Sept. 15, 1960. They also established season highs for runs and hits (19). Before Thursday, the Giants were averaging 3.05 runs per game at home, the lowest output in the Majors.
The Giants needed all the offense they could summon. Trailing, 7-0, after six innings, the Padres roared back against San Francisco starter Chris Heston (8-5) and three relievers to narrow the deficit to 9-8. San Diego's sixth-run eighth inning, highlighted by Matt Kemp's two-run homer, put a scare into the Giants. But they scored four runs in the eighth to cruise to victory.
"Obviously we would have liked not to make it interesting, but it was good to counter-punch," second baseman Joe Panik said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
First things first: Angel Pagan had mustered one extra-base hit in his previous 103 plate appearances when he doubled to open the Giants' first inning. That set the tone for the Giants as they amassed eight extra-base hits, a season-high. More >
Big comeback: After doing essentially nothing for six innings Thursday, the Padres got two runs in the seventh inning and then six more in the eighth inning on seven hits and one walk. Yangervis Solarte, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter, had two hits in the 8th. More >
"We got back in the game, we fought back and that shows the character of our team," said Kemp.
Taking over: Buster Posey helped sustain the Giants late, collecting all three of his RBIs from the fifth inning on. He hit an RBI single in the fifth inning and a two-run double in the eighth. He has 21 RBIs this month.
UnShieldsy: Padres starter James Shields allowed two runs in the first inning and struggled thereafter, as he left after facing three batters in the fourth inning. It was his shortest start with the Padres and it was also the most earned runs (seven) he's allowed in a start since May 2, 2014.
"At the beginning of the game, they jumped on me early and got a couple runs," Shields said, "... I was making my pitches and they were finding holes."
"I still see goodness. I see good players, guys getting better, even the guys who are slumping, I see flashes." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy, on his team nearly rallying from a seven-run deficit
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Padres gave Shields the largest contract in franchise history in February (four years, $75 million). His ERA by month: April (2.90), May (4.34) and June (5.52) after Thursday's outing.
When Kemp connected for a two-run home run to center field in the eighth inning it gave him five long balls for the season. Four of those five home runs have come since June 6, a span of 19 games.
Padres: The Padres return home to Petco Park to start a three-game series with the D-backs at 7:10 p.m. PT. Tyson Ross, who allowed one run in a complete-game victory over the D-backs on June 20, gets the start. He's 4-7 with a 3.61 ERA this season.
Giants: The Giants welcome the Rockies to AT&T Park to open up a three-game set Friday night at 7:15 p.m. PT. Tim Hudson (5-6, 4.52) takes the hill for San Francisco. The right-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings his last time out against Colorado, allowing six hits, two walks and eight earned runs in an 11-2 loss.
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