Street, Padres blow rare lead in loss to Giants
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres were beaten by the San Francisco in a rare late pitching meltdown.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, one inning after Michael Morse hit a solo shot off closer Huston Street to tie the game, to lift the Giants to a 5-3 win over the Padres on Saturday night.
Street was three outs away from extending the Padres’ season-high winning streak to six games when Morse connected to tie the game at 3.
It got worse when Belt, in his second game back from a stint on the disabled list, homered off Dale Thayer (3-3) after Hunter Pence led off with a double. Belt, who missed 50 games with a broken thumb, hit his 10th homer of the season into the right-field stands.
San Diego’s pitching staff has been the best in baseball in recent weeks, especially within the bullpen. Before Saturday, Padres relievers had allowed just two earned runs in 35 2-3 innings over 15 games for a major league-best ERA of 0.50.
“They’ve had a great run, one of the best bullpens in baseball,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “You play 162, they’re not going to be invincible, and they nicked us.”
Morse’s homer leading off the ninth broke a streak of 23 consecutive saves for Street, the longest run in the majors.
“It’s not about the streak,” Street said. “It’s never about the streak. Tonight was just one blown save, one bad pitch. We had a win if I made a good pitch.”
Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne made his third career start for San Diego since being called up from the minors last month. The 27-year-old right-hander, who beat the Giants in his major league debut on June 23, wasn’t as sharp this time but still pitched well.
He overcame four walks and allowed one run and two hits over six innings, his shortest outing. In three starts since coming up from the minors, Despaigne has an ERA of 1.41.
“He had some good movement on his fastball,” Black said. “He just wasn’t pinpointing it as well as he did in his first start (against San Francisco).”
Despaigne became the first pitcher in Padres history to throw at least six innings and allow one run or fewer in each of his first three career starts.
Belt’s homer gave San Francisco just its sixth win in 24 games. The Giants, who had been shut out in three of their previous five games, scored more than two runs for the third time in 11 games.
“It felt good, sounded good, made me feel good,” Belt said of his homer. “I was just happy because we needed a big hit. It was an exciting moment. It was nice to do something out there.”
Before he homered, Belt was hitless in seven at-bats with one walk in his return.
Sergio Romo (4-3), recently demoted from the closer role, earned the win. Santiago Casilla got the final three outs for his second save in five chances.
After Joe Panik’s sacrifice fly put San Francisco ahead 2-1 in the seventh, the Padres scored two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Yasmani Grandal doubled with one out off of Jean Machi, and scored the tying run on Jake Goebbert’s triple into the right-center field gap. Cameron Maybin followed with a sacrifice fly that easily scored Goebbert.
San Francisco’s Tim Hudson had his second strong outing to break a three-start losing streak. Hudson gave up one run on three hits over six innings and avoided matching his career high for losses in consecutive starts. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
The Padres tied it in the sixth on Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly with one out after consecutive singles by Brooks Conrad and Alexi Amarista to open the inning.
Gregor Blanco hit his first homer of the season to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the second.
San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval left the game in the first inning with a bruised left elbow after he swung and missed a pitch that hit him.
NOTES: Street had converted 48 of 49 save chances dating to May 2013. ... San Diego was the only team that hadn’t blown a lead after seven innings this season, going 29-0. ... Pence extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single to open the game. ... Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (7-5, 4.06 ERA) will face Padres RHP Jesse Hahn (4-1, 1.95) in Sunday’s series finale.