Padres force extras but haunted by bunt play

July 31st, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres bunted themselves out of a potential game-winning rally in the 11th inning Monday night. The Giants homered themselves into the lead minutes later.
Small ball and long ball both bit the Friars, as they dropped their sixth straight, a 5-3 loss to San Francisco in 12 innings at Petco Park. launched a go-ahead solo homer off in the 12th, before the Giants tacked on another with a blooper.
The Padres squandered their best opportunity in the 11th. With men on the corners and one out, -- who has been red-hot at the plate and had two hits Monday -- attempted to squeeze the game-winning run home from third base.

"I just want to get the run in," Hedges said. "I have a lot of confidence in my bunting. I've always been a good bunter, in my opinion. Any time we've got a chance to win the game like that, I've got confidence in myself to do it."
Sam Dyson's 0-1 fastball tailed in on Hedges' hands. The ball made contact near the handle of his bat and caromed back toward the mound. was forced to stay put at third base. Hedges, meanwhile, was out at first (on a nice pick by first baseman ). The Padres stranded a pair when struck out.
Afterward, Hedges revealed the bunt was of his own volition. Manager Andy Green didn't fault the decision-making.
"I have all the confidence in the world in him doing what he wants," Green said. "He's won baseball games for us in the past bunting, he's won baseball games for us swinging the bat."

Hedges said he made the decision to bunt after he fell behind in the count, 0-1.
"If that's ball one, I feel like that puts me in the driver's seat to drive that run in," Hedges said. "The fact that it's 0-1, I was still confident to put the bunt down."
Hernandez's ensuing homer rubbed salt in the wound. He demolished a 1-2 changeup from Strahm into the left-field seats.

This, after two consecutive innings in which the Padres came mere feet from winning the game at the same part of the ballpark. In the ninth, Carlos Asuaje flied out to the warning track. -- who went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to seven games -- did the same in the 10th.
The cruel twist of fate: Either of those outs would've sufficed in the 11th. Instead, the Padres fell to 5-19 this month, assuring them of their lowest July win total in franchise history.
"There's no secret recipe," Hosmer said. "We have to come in, continue to battle. The season doesn't let up on you, the schedule doesn't let up on you. It's down to us to figure a way out, and that's what we're going to do."

If this was the last time and pitch for the Padres, the two righty relievers put on a show. Stammen worked the eighth inning and needed only nine pitches to retire the heart of the Giants' lineup in order. Yates followed with scoreless ball in the ninth and 10th.
It's easy to see how both could fit in a contending club's bullpen. In all likelihood, the Padres will continue to field calls on both Stammen and Yates in the hours leading up to today's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"It's a little easier to focus on your future once that date's passed," Stammen said. "But you know what? I've said this from the beginning: I've tried to really be where my feet are, take one day at a time, know that the next day isn't promised to me. That perspective came from being injured [in 2016] and out of the game. That's serving me well at this current time."
Starter was mostly solid, but he surrendered three runs on 's second-inning homer. Lauer didn't allow another run, but he labored and threw 101 pitches before he was removed for a pinch-hitter after five.

"I did what I could've done to put up zeros and survive through the fifth, keep us in the game," Lauer said. "I would've been happier if I would've been able to survive longer, be a little more efficient."
' savvy shortstop play earned the Padres two outs in the sixth inning. He cut down Slater at third base on a ground ball for the first out of the inning.

Then, a batter later, he ranged to his left and made a sliding play before turning and stepping on the second-base bag for an out. Initially, d'Arnaud was ruled safe at second, but replays overturned that call.

Another game, another pickoff for Lauer. With two outs in the first, Lauer put on base with a walk. But he erased Longoria just as quickly with a snap throw to first base. Longoria didn't slide and was initially ruled safe, but replays showed that Hosmer applied the tag before Longoria's foot touched the base. It was Lauer's 10th pickoff this season, which leads the Majors and is three shy of Bob Shirley's single-season record.

It's been a rough July for , who has an 8.28 ERA and 20 walks in five starts since the beginning of the month. Richard needs a bounceback effort against the Giants on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. PT. San Francisco counters with right-hander .