Adrian Gonzalez(notes) homered off Matt Cain(notes), Clayton Richard(notes) and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Padres stayed atop the NL West by beating the Giants for the seventh straight time this season, 3-1 on Monday night in a matchup of the division’s top two teams.
The Padres haven’t trailed against the Giants once this season.
“The big thing about intra-divisional play is you play these guys so often, there’s really no secrets,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Clayton’s matched up against these guys a number of times; we’ve seen Cain a ton over the years. So, the scouting reports are pretty in-depth to what you think a guy’s going to do, so it makes it more critical to have good stuff, make pitches.”
“We’ve been playing good baseball, consistently going out every day and doing the little things,” Richard said. “You’ve got to give credit to the little details being taken care of—situational hitting, pitching late in the game, throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters. All the little things in baseball that you’re taught to do, if you do them well, you end up winning games.”
Richard (3-2) beat Cain (2-3) for the second time in a span of six games by holding the Giants to one run and three hits in seven innings. The left-hander also beat Cain 5-2 at San Francisco on Wednesday in the middle game of a three-game sweep. The Padres also swept the Giants in San Diego a month ago. Richard and Cain faced each other in that series, too, but neither got a decision.
Mike Adams(notes) threw a scoreless eighth, issuing consecutive two-out walks to Andres Torres(notes) and Pablo Sandoval(notes) before getting Bengie Molina(notes) to ground out. Heath Bell(notes) allowed Aubrey Huff’s(notes) double leading off the ninth before retiring the side for his 11th save in 13 chances.
“It’s been very similar,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Their pitching looked better. We’re not hitting, we’re not scoring. It’s pretty simple.”
Someone wondered if it might be time to switch things up and pick a lineup out of a hat.
“Picking a lineup out of a hat?” Bochy replied. “I know it’s been done before. We’re right in the thick of things. I don’t know if this is the time to start doing that.”
The Giants have totaled only nine runs in the seven losses to San Diego.
“Does that even have to be asked?” Cain said when asked about the frustration of going 0-7 against the Padres. “It’s obvious. We need to win.”
Gonzalez launched an 0-2 pitch from Cain an estimated 413 feet over the fence in straightaway center field with two outs in the first. It was his eighth.
“It was a heater down the middle,” Cain said. “It was supposed to be away. You make mistakes against these guys and they are going to take advantage of them.”
The Padres went back ahead with two outs in the fifth when Chase Headley(notes) singled in David Eckstein(notes). They got an insurance run in the seventh when, with the bases loaded, reliever Sergio Romo(notes) hit slumping Kyle Blanks(notes) with a pitch on the left thigh.
Blanks came into that plate appearance 3 for 34 (.088) in May. His last RBI had been May 7.
“It came out positive, and that’s all I can ask for,” Blanks said. “Whether it’s a hit, walk or hit by pitch, it got a run in, and that’s what I’m worried about.”
Cain went six innings, allowing two runs and six hits, with five strikeouts and five walks. Richard also struck out five, with three walks.
NOTES: Padres RHP Mat Latos(notes), scheduled to start against Giants LHP Jonathan Sanchez(notes) on Tuesday night, was signed by scout Joe Bochy, older brother of the Giants’ manager. Bruce Bochy managed the Padres from 1995-2006 before jumping to the Giants. … Latos will face the Giants for the third time this season and for the second straight start. … Latos and Sanchez matched up on April 20 in San Diego, when the Padres had only one hit but won 1-0. … Bruce Bochy, who still has an offseason home in suburban Poway, was bummed because he might have to have his 16-year-old Labrador euthanized.