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Giants 5, Padres 4

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Juan Perez's two-out single to right field scored Brandon Belt, capping a two-run eighth inning that propelled the San Francisco Giants past the San Diego Padres 5-4 Tuesday night, ending the visitors' seven-game hitting streak.

In quickly reversing Monday's 5-3, 13-inning loss to the Padres, the Giants avoided falling to .500 for the first time since the first week of the season. San Francisco (36-34) moved past San Diego (36-35) and into a tie for second with the Colorado Rockies in the tight National League West standings. The Arizona Diamondbacks hold a 1 1/2 game lead on the Giants and Rockies.

Coming to bat after the Padres took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth on a two-run, pinch homer by Jesus Guzman, the Giants wasted no time heating up.

Buster Posey smacked a single up the middle off San Diego reliever Dale Thayer (0-3). After Hunter Pence struck out, Belt tied the game with a booming double off the brick wall in right-center field, scoring pinch runner Andres Torres.

Batting with two outs, two on and two strikes, Perez sliced a hard grounder past Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe. Belt scored easily, enabling the Giants to snap a three-game losing streak overall and a four-gamer to the Padres.

Jean Machi (2-0), who bailed the Giants out of a two-out jam in the San Diego eighth, got the win after inducing a groundout from the only batter he faced, Chris Denorfia. Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.

The Padres, who entered the game with the best record in the NL in June at 11-5, appeared headed to a fifth consecutive come-from-behind win when Guzman blasted his homer to center field off Jeremy Affeldt following a one-out walk to Forsythe. Instead, San Diego dropped back into fourth place in the NL West.

Not all news was good for the Giants on the winning night. Already without starting center fielder Angel Pagan and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the Giants had to remove shortstop Brandon Crawford in the fourth inning after he sprained the middle and index fingers on his right hand while sliding head-first into second base on a steal attempt.

Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision despite dueling in a 2-2 game into the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Giants' Matt Cain left with a 3-2 lead after striking out 10 in seven innings. He gave up San Diego's first two runs on six hits. He didn't walk a batter.

Padres starter Andrew Cashner gave up 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six, walked one and surrendered the first three Giants runs.

Perez also played a key role defensively in San Francisco's win.

After homers by San Diego's Nick Hundley and Forsythe tied the score at 2 in the sixth, the Padres had the first opportunity to take a late upper hand when Mark Kotsay led off the seventh with a double and Denorfia followed with a sharp single to center. But for the second night in a row, Perez, the Giants' center fielder, made a perfect throw in a critical situation, gunning down a sliding Kotsay at the plate.

The home runs allowed were the 14th and 15th of the season off Cain, who entered the game having surrendered the fifth most in the NL.

NOTES: Giants 2B Marco Scutaro, playing for the first time since suffering what was labeled a "mallet" finger when hit by a pitch on his left pinkie last Tuesday, made an immediate impression in his return. His sliding stop on Kyle Blanks' first-inning grounder saved a run, and he had two infield hits in four at-bats. ... Crawford played one inning in the field after suffering his injury, then had to call it a night. ... When Padres manager Bud Black recorded his 500th victory in Monday's 5-3, 13-inning triumph over the Giants, he became just the third 100-win pitcher to reach the milestone. The others: Hall of Famers Clark Griffith and Walter Johnson. Black won 121 games as a pitcher in his major league career. ... Before the game, the Giants announced the signing of their first-round pick in this month's draft, 18-year-old SS Christian Arroyo of Hernando High in Brooksville, Fla. The 25th overall selection is a candidate for Florida's Mr. Baseball award.
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