Barbara Zaragoza 8:04 p.m., Dec. 19
After a successful home stand culminating with a win on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies to take their third series in a row, the Padres hit the road on Monday. First stop: San Francisco, to face the division-leading Giants. Monday night, the Padres were blown out 7-1, and then Tuesday, the Padres lost a nail-biter when the Giants' Angel Pagan robbed Carlos Quentin in the eighth inning and then Brandon Crawford singled in Brandon Belt for the winning run in the ninth as the Giants beat the Padres 3-2.
Tuesday's game began with some offense but quickly settled in to a pitching duel between Padres starter Edinson Volquez and Madison Bumgarner for the Giants.
The Giants started in on Volquez in the bottom of the first inning when Nate Shierholtz opened the frame with a double. Ryan Theriot hit an infield single to put Shierholtz at third base, and then Melky Cabrera grounded to second, Shierholtz scoring and Theriot taking second base.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal then let a Volquez pitch get by him to put Theriot at third base, and after Buster Posey grounded out to second, Pablo Sandoval doubled home Theriot. The Giants led after an inning, 2-0.
The Padres came right back in the top of the second inning. Carlos Quentin doubled to left field, and after Yasmani Grandal grounded out, Jesus Guzman doubled to center field, scoring Quentin. Yonder Alonso lined to left field for the second out, and then Bumgarner intentionally walked Everth Cabrera to face the pitcher, Edinson Volquez.
Volquez helped his own cause with a single to right field. Jesus Guzman scored, and the Padres tied the game 2-2.
Both starting pitchers settled in after that. Bumgarner went seven innings, allowing the two runs on seven hits while striking out nine. Volquez also went seven, allowing two runs on three hits and eight strike-outs. After that it was up to the bull pens and some nifty defense on the part of the Giants.
In the top of the eighth inning Sergio Romo relieved Madison Bumgarner and with one out, Chase Headley singled to right field. Carlos Quentin then belted a ball that appeared certain to hit the gap for at least a double, when Angel Pagan made a lay-out diving catch, got up, and doubled Headley off of first base. The amazing catch changed the outcome of the game for the Giants.
Joe Thatcher took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Padres and walked Brandon Belt to open up the frame. Angel Pagan then singled to left field, putting Belt on second base, and with Brandon Crawford at the plate, Yasmani Grandal let another pitch get by him and Belt and Pagan both moved up ninety feet.
The left-handed Thatcher chose to pitch to the left-handed hitting Crawford, and it proved fatal. Crawford hit a 2-1 count fastball into center field and Belt scored on the walk-off single.
The win for the Giants ensured that the Padres three-series win streak was over. The Giants improved to 55-42 while the Padres fell to 41-58.
Reports are that Cameron Maybin (wrist) has been hitting some balls in the batting cage, and might be ready to start as early as the upcoming series with the Miami Marlins starting on Friday. Other than for pinch-running and defensive purposes, Maybin has been limited at the plate for about a week.
Alexi Amarista, who hurt his thumb in Monday's game, sat Tuesday and is not in the line-up on Wednesday. The Padres are relieved that testing has confirmed no major issues, but it is expected that Amarista will likely sit until the end of this week.
Pitcher Tim Stauffer (elbow) threw off of the mound on Monday with no ill-effects reported and again threw off of the mound on Wednesday before the game. Stauffer is now slated to go to Peoria to continue his rehab, possibly playing in a Rookie League game there before continuing his rehab in AA or AAA.
Wednesday's game, the finale in the series at San Francisco, features Jason Marquis (5-9, 5.58) for the Padres up against the Giants' Tim Lincecum (4-10, 5.72). The game is in progress, televised on Fox Sports San Diego with radio coverage on XX 1090 AM.