In an important series for playoff chances, the SF Giants showed they could hang with one of the most vaunted offenses in baseball - until the team's depth was tested.
A 1-0 win to open the three-game series in San Diego was eye opening, especially after new Padres acquisition Juan Soto wished a sarcastic "good luck" to opposing pitchers having to face him, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr and more.
Tuesday's middle game of the series started well for the Giants before they lost the lead, but they made a furious rally in the ninth to tie the game. Unfortunately, they had to pitch a recently-unreliable reliever in the bottom of the ninth and lost on a walk-off home run.
In Wednesday's rubber match the Giants rushed out to a lead and twice put up crooked numbers only to see their pitching falter in shutdown inning opportunities, and they took a 13-7 loss to fall three games under .500 for the season and 7.5 back of a Wild Card spot.
The scoring started in the second inning, when recent pickup J.D. Davis went yard for a solo shot, his third home run in seven games with the Giants.
The Orange and Black added three more in the third. Two scored on a two-on, no-out single to right from Austin Slater that Soto overran for a two-run single and error. Slater then crossed the plate on a Wilmer Flores hit to make it 4-0.
San Francisco starter Jakob Junis pitched around runners on second and third and one out in the first and had a perfect second before falling apart in the third. A leadoff walk began a stretch of seven-straight batters reaching base, and he was eventually pulled after getting the first out; by then San Diego had tied the game.
The Padres continued their onslaught against reliever Alex Young, who allowed a single and fielder's choice to score two runs - both charged to the record of Junis - to put the hosts in the lead.
In the sixth the Giants reclaimed the lead. Davis was hit by a pitch and Mike Yastrzemski doubled with no outs, then runs scored on a sacrifice fly and throwing error. A few batters later Joc Pederson pinch-hit and singled to left, scoring Austin Wynns for a 7-6 Giants lead.
Defense fails to hold SF Giants lead
Again the lead was short-lived. Reliever Yunior Marte, who recorded the last out of the fifth, opened the sixth with two quick outs and then allowed a sharp single. With the Giants in a shift, Josh Bell punched a routine ground ball up the middle. Davis, the third baseman, was playing near the shortstop position and fielded the ball on the run. His off-balance throw was wide of first base, making Bell safe and keeping the door open for San Diego.
Brandon Drury then made the Giants pay for their poor defense by drilling a three-run homer to put the Padres back in the lead for good. Four batters - including a run-scoring double and another three-run blast - later it was 13-7.
The Giants take Thursday off and begin a home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.