Ian Kennedy, Padres beat Giants 9-1 to snap home win streak
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One big inning by one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups cost Chris Heston and the San Francisco Giants.
San Diego had been shut out in consecutive games and manager Bud Black considered the Padres due for a scoring outburst, and they delivered in a 9-1 win Wednesday that snapped San Francisco’s eight-game home winning streak and avoided a Giants sweep.
“The third inning they got to me and we weren’t able to come back,” Heston said. “I have to pitch inside. I’m doing them a favor by leaving it out there. I need to command the inside part of the plate better.”
The Giants did have reason to celebrate on the 84th birthday of Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who watched this one from home. The team tried to get in touch with him, and highlights of the Say Hey Kid were played between innings on the big screen. Public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon led “Happy Birthday” in the middle of the fifth.
“He’s the face of the Giants,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Heston, who made his first career start against the Padres last Sept. 28, allowed 11 hits to match his season high, five runs, struck out four and walked three in five innings. The Giants had their five-game winning streak snapped with just their fifth loss in 16 games following an eight-game skid.
Alexi Amarista doubled for one of his three hits and drove in a run, Cory Spangenberg hit three singles as San Diego’s bats got going against Heston (2-3) after being shut out the previous two nights and going 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
The five runs on six hits surrendered by Heston in the third were season highs for San Francisco.
“It was a battle from the start for him,” Bochy said of Heston. “Every inning it seemed like they had runners on. Give them credit, they put up good at-bats and found the holes.”
The Giants missed getting a third straight sweep at AT&T Park, something they haven’t done at home since May 6-22, 2011, against Colorado, Arizona and Cincinnati.
Rookie San Diego catcher Austin Hedges had a day to remember in his first career start.
Hedges was behind the plate for Ian Kennedy’s strong outing, drove in two runs — including an RBI single in the decisive five-run third for his first major league hit — and even threw out a runner, all with his parents and an aunt and uncle in the stands to see it.
Kennedy said he felt extra pressure to win for Hedges, speaking to his catcher Tuesday night and game-planning between each inning.
“He pitched his butt off today. If any of that was on my behalf then that just shows the kind of guy he is,” Hedges said. “He took me under his wing.”
Hedges added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, two days after being called up from Triple-A El Paso on Monday.
He also threw out Nori Aoki at second following his RBI single in the third, and Kennedy (2-1) pointed to the catcher acknowledging the heads-up play.
At 22 years, 261 days, Hedges became the youngest catcher to start a game for San Diego since Ben Davis made 71 starts in 1999 beginning at 22 years, 106 days.
Matt Kemp hit a run-scoring double in the third to end a 22-inning scoreless stretch by the Padres and 29 innings by Giants pitchers.
“We were due,” Black said.
Wil Myers had an RBI triple among his three hits, Jedd Gyorko added an RBI double and run-scoring single, and Justin Upton drew a career-high four walks.
Giants: RHP Jake Peavy, on the disabled list with a strained back, is slated to throw a bullpen session on Friday then the Giants will likely send him on a rehab assignment. ... RF Hunter Pence (fractured left forearm) is scheduled to hit live batting practice Thursday.
Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne makes his third start of the season and seventh appearance against the Diamondbacks.
Giants: Coming off his first win of the year, RHP Tim Hudson (1-2) looks to improve on his 15-4 career mark against the Marlins. Hudson has won his last six against Miami.
Marlins first baseman Michael Morse will receive his World Series ring Thursday from Bochy.
“He was a lot of fun, great teammate,” Bochy said. “I’ll look forward to seeing him and look forward to giving him his ring.”