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Padres persevere for 12-inning win

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Nick Hundley's grounder to second base never felt so good.

Hundley's sharp one-hopper to Marco Scutaro was booted and that was enough to chase home Yonder Alonso and give the San Diego Padres an 8-7 win over the San Francisco Giants in 12 innings on Saturday night before 38,823 at Petco Park.

Alonso was on after his one-out double, his third double of the game. Jedd Gyorko followed with a single to right, putting runners on the corners against Giants closer Sergio Romo (1-2).

Hundley then hit a well-struck ball toward Scutaro that wasn't handled cleanly. By the time Scutaro picked it and heaved it toward catcher Buster Posey, Alonso had scored.

"I was just trying to elevate the ball," Hundley said. "Fortunately, we got it done."

Alonso initially thought Scaturo might snag Hundley's hit.

"For a second, it was in the air and I thought he might catch it and I froze," Alonso said. "I saw it hit the ground and just took off. It was a break that went our way."

Alonso said the Padres' third straight win came with plenty of players deserving of the spotlight.

"It was a good job by everybody today," he said.

For the Giants, it was their fourth straight loss, and this one didn't go down easily.

"If you look at the last four games we lost, those are tough losses," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Especially when you have a lead like we did."

The Padres wasted two golden opportunities with the score tied in the ninth and 10th.

In the ninth, Headley walked, but Carlos Quentin and Kyle Blanks struck out. Then Headley was picked off at first by Jean Machi, although replays indicated that first baseman Bandon Belt missed the tag.

In the 10th, the Padres got the leadoff man aboard again when Chris Denorfia's dribbler in front of the plate was good enough for a scratch single. But Everth Cabrera was unable to get a bunt down after two attempts, ended up hitting a grounder to Scutaro and he flipped it to shortstop Brandon Crawford to force Denorfia.

Headley then grounded out to first and pinch-hitter John Baker hit a sinking line drive to right field that for a moment looked like a game-winner. But Hunter Pence came racing in and made a diving catch to end the rally.

In the 12th, the Giants got the go-ahead run on when pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias singled with one out. After Angel Pagan was caught looking, Scutaro laced a single to left. A Dale Thatcher wild pitch put Arias and Scutaro in scoring position, but Pablo Sandoval grounded out to second.

This was a wild game, with the Padres rallying from a five-run deficit. And they hadn't beaten the Giants in consecutive games since July 2011.

Down 5-0, the Padres stormed back with a six-run fourth.

"We were down 5-O and they had all the momentum," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But there was something in there in the middle of the fourth."

The Padres sent 10 players to the plate and the uprising started on a one-out, two-base error by left fielder Andres Torres as he let Quentin's ball get past him and it rolled to the wall.

Blanks then singled and Alonso drove in Quentin and Blanks with a double. Pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman and Denorfia had the other big hits as all, but one of the six runs absorbed by starter Barry Zito -- he didn't finish the inning -- was unearned.

The Giants regained the lead at 7-6 on a two-run triple by Pence in the right-field corner. The ball was almost caught by Blanks, but he seemed to pull up as he closed in on the wall. Blanks was starting for the first time since last Sunday when he rammed into the fence at AT&T Park while making a catch.

Blanks then tied the score in the seventh with an RBI single, his third hit of the night.

"I could just tell the atmosphere in dugout was electric," said reliever Anthony Bass, who worked three innings. "Everyone was pulling for each other and we are just going to keep this winning streak going."

Padres starter Eric Stults nearly danced around trouble in the second, coming one out shy of retiring the Giants.

But he was burned by Crawford, as he turned on a 77 mph slider and sent a towering shot that hugged the right-field line. Crawford's three-run homer didn't go far -- 330 feet -- but it had enough distance to stake Zito to a 3-0 cushion.

Stults dug his own hole by walking Posey and with two outs and hitting Belt on the right shoulder. The next pitch, to Crawford, landed in the seats.

The Padres looked poised to cut into the Giants' lead in the second when Blanks smacked a one-out single up the middle and Alonso followed with a ground-rule double.

But Zito dialed it down, got Gyorko swinging on a 76 mph change-up and struck out Hundley on a 73-mph curveball.

The Giants' edge grew to 4-0 when Pagan singled and Sandoval doubled, with Pagan scoring when Quentin booted the ball in left. Next was a one-out RBI double by Posey and the Giants were cruising 5-0.

In the fourth, the Padres got busy. Real busy.

Alonso smacked a double in the left-field gap, which chased home Quentin and Blanks. Quentin had reached on a two-base error by Torres and Blanks was on base after collecting his second single. Alonso then scored on a pinch-single by Jesus Guzman.

"I just missed it," Torres said. "It didn't hit my glove, I just missed it."

Zito said, "To me, the pitch that I wanted back is that change-up to Guzman."

Denorfia followed with a two-run, two-out double that tied the score and chased Zito.

Cabrera gave the Padres a 6-5 lead by driving in Denorfia with a single, but the Giants responded in the fifth as Pence's two-out, two-run triple put them ahead 7-6.

The Padres are now 3-0 with Headley and Quentin in the lineup. Headley had missed time with his thumb injury and Quentin was out eight games after being suspended for his role in the brawl with Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke.

"It gives you a boost in the middle of the lineup," Alonso said. "It puts pressure on guys and the pitchers have to execute their pitches really well."

Black leaned on his relievers, using six pitchers. Joe Thatcher (1-0) worked the final inning and got the win.

"Our bullpen did a great job," Black said. "All the guys down the line did a great job.

Their 'pen did a great job, too, but we just bunched two hits together against Romo at the end."

Bochy agreed.

"They shut us down," he said. "But our bullpen had a great effort, too."

NOTES: Bochy said Belt isn't in a platoon situation and he proved it by having the left-handed swinger in the lineup against the left-handed Stults. ... Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt threw a bullpen session in San Diego and could have another one in Arizona before Bochy decides if he needs to face live hitters. Affeldt went on the DL, retroactive to April 15, with a right oblique strain. ... Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, who is on the DL with a strained left shoulder, could try to adjust his swing when he returns. Ross' left shoulder becomes dislocated when he takes a cut as a batter. ... Padres left-hander Robbie Erlin has been with the club since Wednesday but has yet to see action. Black said he is looking for the right situation to insert Erlin. ... Left-hander Joe Wieland, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, threw 100 pitches at the team's facility in Arizona.
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