Crawford’s single in 9th lifts Giants over Padres
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Brandon Crawford had Angel Pagan to thank for the chance to deliver his first career game-winner.
Crawford hit an RBI single in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 Tuesday night, their ninth victory in 11 games since the All-Star break.
“When you hit the ball well you are going to have confidence no matter the situation,” Crawford said.
Pagan had the defensive play of the game, making a sensational catch and turning it into a double play that ended the eighth inning.
“That was one of the best plays of my career,” Pagan said of a diving grab on the left-center field warning track, reminiscent of Gregor Blanco’s catch that preserved Matt Cain’s perfect game. “I wanted a good jump to try and prevent the runner from scoring.”
Instead, he gloved Carlos Quentin’s long drive and had the presence to quickly jump up and throw toward first. Crawford went into the outfield, and the shortstop’s relay to first doubled up Chase Headley.
“It’s going to be hard to find a better catch than Pagan’s,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It goes to show that defense can win a ballgame.”
He was not going to get an argument from Padres manager Bud Black.
“A fabulous catch by Pagan,” he said. “No doubt about it, saved the game. One of the best catches I’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Brandon Belt walked to open the ninth and Pagan singled. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch ahead of Crawford’s single against Joe Thatcher (0-4).
“I was trying to go away,” Thatcher said. “I just didn’t make a good pitch. I didn’t get the job done.”
Santiago Casilla (4-4) pitched the ninth for the victory.
Jesus Guzman had two hits and drove in a run for the Padres, who have lost 17 of their last 22 against the Giants.
Edinson Volquez got off to a shaky start for the Padres but was unhittable over his final six innings. He allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked three and struck out eight. He also drove in a run.
Volquez is 3-0 over his last six starts with a 1.56 ERA.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out nine.
Bumgarner is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts since his first career shutout and complete game.
The Giants scored twice in the first inning before Volquez shut them down. Nate Schierholtz doubled and went to third on Ryan Theriot’s single. Melky Cabrera grounded out to score one run and Pablo Sandoval doubled home the other run.
Volquez did not give up another hit the rest of the way.
The Padres tied the game in the third on doubles by Quentin and Guzman and Volquez’s RBI single.
NOTES: Black decided to stay with the rotation, giving the starters an extra day of rest. Following Thursday’s off-day, the Padres will start Kip Wells, Ross Ohlendorf and Clayton Richard. “It’s the time of year an extra day might be good for the guys,” Black said. … Padres INF-OF Alexi Amarista (jammed thumb) will avoid a trip to the disabled list. “He’s doing much better,” Black said. … Padres OF Cameron Maybin took swings off a tee and may be back sooner than anticipated. … Padres RHP Tim Stauffer will throw a bullpen Wednesday and if all goes well, will go to Arizona for a couple of more bullpens before appearing in games. … Sandoval left the game after three innings with a left hamstring strain sustained when he stretched to finish a double play. … Giants C Hector Sanchez (left knee injury) caught a bullpen session with LHP Barry Zito before the game and said that was the biggest test yet. He’s expected to return to action on Aug. 2.