“Usually you don’t score two runs and win a game, but that shows the signs of a good team,” Giles said. “We feel like we’re not playing as well as we’re capable of, but we’re winning games and that’s what’s important.”
A year ago, when they were the NL’s worst team, the Padres probably would have lost a game like this. But when Lawrence handed a 2-1 lead to the bullpen starting the seventh, Scott Linebrink, Akinori Otsuka and Trevor Hoffman made it stand.
Otsuka pitched a perfect eighth and Hoffman allowed just a hit in the ninth in earning his 10th save in 11 chances.
“Those guys are nails and they nailed it down again tonight,” said Lawrence, who won his third straight start. “We’re a solid ball team all the way around. There’s no way around that right now. I don’t see a hole right now. If we continue to play the way we do, it’s going to be a fun year.”
Lidle (2-3) pitched efficiently once he got out of the first, but by then he was down 2-0 after allowing Mark Loretta’s one-out double followed on the next pitch by Giles’ homer to Petco Park’s spacious right-center.
Giles connected when Lidle left a sinker up.
“I thought I hit it good, but here you never know so you’ve got to keep running,” Giles said. “Funny how that holds up after the first inning. He pitched a great game. He made one mistake and it cost him.”
Coming in, Giles was 5-for-6 with two homers lifetime against Lidle.
“Sometimes it goes that way,” Lidle said. “I just left a sinker a little bit up and he was all over it. He hit it good.”
Lidle threw just 85 pitches, 67 for strikes.
“They were swinging at the first pitches all night long,” Lidle said. “It wasn’t too much of a surprise.”
Giles’ sixth homer was enough to give the win to Lawrence (5-2), who allowed one run and seven hits in six innings, struck out four and walked one.
Lidle kept the Padres off-balance with his changeup, although he allowed four extra-base hits.
After allowing Jay Payton’s triple to right-center leading off the second, Lidle retired 15 straight until Phil Nevin doubled to left leading off the seventh. Nevin thought it was a homer and started into his trot, but the ball hit about halfway up the fence and he had to hustle into second.
Lidle didn’t walk a batter until the seventh. He finished for his seventh complete game of his career. He struck out four.
The Padres made two nice defensive plays. After Tim Hummel’s leadoff double, first baseman Nevin charged in and gloved Lidle’s bunt in the fifth and threw out Hummel at third.
“They made a great double switch,” Cincinnati’s Ryan Freel said.
Cincinnati, which beat San Diego 6-3 on Tuesday night, got its run on three singles in the fourth. Casey singled with one out, advanced on Adam Dunn’s hit and scored on Freel’s single.
Reliever Rod Beck is scheduled to rejoin the Padres next Thursday at Pittsburgh if he continues to throw well at extended spring training in Arizona. Beck has been absent since the middle of spring training due to a personal problem. Originally scheduled to be a setup man for Hoffman this year, Beck will have to pitch in long relief because Otsuka, signed from Japan, has pitched well, going 3-1 with one save and a 1.00 ERA. … The Padres placed RHP Antonio Osuna on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, andpurchased the contract of RHP Brandon Puffer from Triple-A Portland.