Continuing their dominance over the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres swept the series, outhitting and outpitching the Orange and Black Sunday afternoon, 8-2, sending the reeling Giants four-and-a-half games back of the Dodgers, who beat the Cubs, 8-5. The Giants have now lost five of their last seven games and have only seven games left in the regular season.
The game was tight as Ryan Vogelsong took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, before surrendering two runs on a sacrifice fly and an infield grounder. The Padres scored three more in the sixth and three more in the seventh, with the Giants responding with a two-run home run from Chris Dominguez, who managed to make his first big league hit a memorable one.
Ian Kennedy, like his two predecessors Friday and Saturday, proved too much for the Giants, as he worked six-and-two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out five. Brandon Crawford was the only Giant to get two hits off of Kennedy, the second one coming just prior to Chris Dominguez’ home run in the sixth inning.
Ryan Vogelsong started for the Giants and made it into the sixth, before he ran out of steam. He gave up a total of four runs, two of them earned, on four hits and a walk, and he struck out five. When he loaded the bases with no one out to start the sixth, Bruce Bochy brought in Javier Lopez who was charged with one run, and then George Kontos, who got the Giants out of the inning with no further damage than the three runs already scored.
For the Padres Yasmani Grandal had the big blow, a double that cleared the bases in the seventh. Rene Rivera, who had two doubles in Saturday night’s win, had two more hits Sunday, including a double, and two RBI’s. Cameron Maybin also had two hits and knocked in two runs in the sixth.
For the Giants the numbers one through six hitters in the lineup combined for two singles. If it weren’t for the kid, Chris Dominguez, making his major league debut in a starting capacity, the Giants would have been blanked.
I’d like to glibly say, “Just toss this one aside and move on,” except for the time factor. There’s not much more time left in the season, and the Pirates’ victory over the Brewers today took away the last vestige of comfort in a dwindling playoff landscape, as San Francisco dropped into a tie with them for the wild card spot, and the home field advantage for the one-game contest.
And now that the Giants are all warmed up from their tuneup in San Diego, they must travel two hours up the coast to Los Angeles, to face the Dodgers, who just took three out of four from the Cubs. Figuring that they can’t do any worse in L.A. than they did against the Padres, I say bring it on. Who knows? Maybe something good will happen and we’ll find our bats in the LA Basin.