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Giants 3, Padres 2

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants bullpen won a late-innings battle with its San Diego Padres counterparts Friday night when Angel Pagan doubled home Andres Torres with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory at AT&T Park.

Picking up for Madison Bumgarner after a fourth consecutive quality start, Jose Mijares, George Kontos and Santiago Casilla (2-1) shut out the Padres on one hit over the final three innings, setting the stage for Pagan's late heroics.

The Padres countered the Giants' relief success with two shutout innings of their own after taking the ball from Edinson Volquez, but Luke Gregorson (0-2) got in immediate trouble in the ninth when Gregor Blanco slapped a bloop single in front of left fielder Kyle Blanks.

Torres failed to advance Blanco with a bunt, forcing Blanco at second. But Torres then stole second and scored easily when Pagan hooked the next pitch into the right-field corner.

The game was left in the hands of the bullpens despite the fact the starting pitchers had quite dissimilar nights.

The Giants' Bumgarner was brilliant for much of his six-inning stint, striking out five in a row at one point and 10 overall. He gave up only four hits, but two -- a game-opening double by Chris Denorfia and a game-tying homer by Chase Headley in the sixth inning -- produced the two runs that allowed the Padres to stay even.

San Diego starter Volquez, meanwhile, was lucky to escape with just two runs allowed in his six innings. He pitched in and out of jams inning after inning, the result of eight hits and three walks. But he allowed just single runs in the first and third innings.

Bumgarner left the game under very unusual circumstances.

After giving up a home run to Headley that tied the score at 2-all in the top of the sixth, Bumgarner was allowed to come to the plate with two on and none out in the bottom of the inning even though Giants manager Bruce Bochy had initially sent a pinch-hitter, Nick Noonan, to the on-deck circle.

With Headley and Yonder Alonso crashing from the corners and everyone expecting a bunt, Bumgarner instead swung away and nearly grounded into a triple play. The roller went straight to shortstop Everth Cabrera, who tagged Brandon Belt and threw to second to force Blanco. A low relay to first by Jedd Gyorko nearly got Bumgarner for the third out.

The pitcher was allowed to run for himself with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch. But the inning ended -- as did Bumgarner's game, even though he had retired 16 of the last 18 batters he faced -- when Pagan grounded to shortstop.

Volquez struggled picking up umpire James Hoye's strike zone early on, and walks contributed to Giants runs in the first and third innings.

Hunter Pence capped the right-hander's frustration in the third, belting an RBI double into the left-field corner after Volquez had walked Buster Posey on a borderline 3-2 pitch with two outs. The run gave the Giants their first lead of the night at 2-1.

The margin could have been bigger. The Giants stranded a runner in scoring position in each of the first five innings and had nine baserunners against Volquez in that stretch.

NOTES: Game 2 of the three-game series will be a rare Saturday night contest at AT&T Park, with the Padres' Clayton Richard (0-1) dueling with the Giants' Tim Lincecum (1-0) in a battle of starters sporting 5-plus ERAs. ... Bumgarner was shooting for his fourth consecutive quality start to begin the season. The other four Giants starters have a total of four so far. ... The Giants have feasted on the Padres the past two seasons, going 12-6 each year. ... Taking a lead in the top of the first inning seemed to favor the Padres more than the one run would indicate. The Giants entered the game 7-1 when scoring first and 2-6 when surrendering the first run. ... Jesus Guzman began the game with a .391 career batting average against Bumgarner, which shot up to .440 (11-for-25) with his double and single in his first two at-bats. The double was his fifth in those 25 at-bats.
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