The San Diego Padres have been looking for a spark to get them headed in the right direction. A rousing come-from-behind victory could be just what they needed.
The Padres seek their seventh straight victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night when the NL West rivals continue a three-game series at Petco Park.
Faced with a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth in Friday’s series opener, the Padres rallied for a 5-4 win in 10 innings to avoid their third straight loss.
Scott Hairston led off the ninth with a home run off Brad Hennessey— Hairston’s fourth in three games against the Giants. Josh Bard walked and pinch-runner Brady Clark was sacrificed to second before Geoff Blum doubled home the tying run one out later off Steve Kline.
“I’m happy it turned out like it did,” Greene said. “A win’s a win, but the way we did it I think is nice, especially at this point in time.”
The two-time defending NL West champion Padres (79-67) entered this series having lost six of eight as their lead in the wild-card race was cut to 1 1/2 games over Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s a great win for the team, with the heart and character of this team to come back tonight where we easily could have rolled over,” starter Chris Young said. “But there’s no quit in this team. That’s what makes it fun.”
Because the Phillies and Dodgers both won Friday, San Diego’s lead remained the same. It did, however, pull within three games of West-leading Arizona.
Friday was the first of 10 consecutive home games for the Padres, winners of 13 of 18 at Petco Park.
The Giants (66-81) have lost six straight to the Padres and 10 of 13 meetings this season. San Francisco will try to avoid losing seven in a row to San Diego for the first time since a 10-game skid from May 1-Sept. 16, 1996.
“We did what we did against a tough pitcher and couldn’t hold on,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s been a big problem all year. It got away from us again. We’ve seen enough walk-off home runs and tough losses. This is an area we have to get better at.”
Starting for the Padres will be recent acquisition Brett Tomko (2-11, 5.70 ERA), who has made three relief appearances since he was signed as a free agent on Sept. 4. The right-hander has allowed two runs in five innings with six strikeouts and one walk with his new team.
Tomko was 2-9 with a 5.56 ERA in 15 starts with the Dodgers, who released him on Aug. 31. He is 3-5 with a 5.12 ERA in 12 career starts against the Giants, including 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two outings this season.
Matt Cain (7-14, 3.78) hopes for better run support as he tries to beat the Padres for the first time in five starts this season. Cain has pitched very well in four starts against San Diego, compiling a 2.57 ERA, but only has two losses for his effort. The Giants have scored seven total runs in those four games.
The right-hander rebounded from his shortest start of the season with a much better performance Sunday against the Dodgers. He gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four before San Francisco rallied for a 4-2 victory.
Greene is only batting .263 (5-for-19) against Cain, but three of the hits are home runs.