Giants turn back Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) — With the playoffs fast approaching, the last thing the San Francisco Giants wanted to see was star catcher Buster Posey hunched over on his knees behind home plate.A leading contender for NL MVP, Posey gave the Giants a scare when he took a wild pitch off his throat and was in plenty of discomfort. But he stayed in the game and increased his lead in the batting race to help the NL West champions beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 Friday night.“It does show you how tough he is. It was a full shot on his Adam’s apple, but he wanted to stay in,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Ryan Vogelsong (14-9) pitched six strong innings and Pablo Sandoval drove in two runs for San Francisco, which has won 13 of 16.Posey was shaken up in the second inning with Everth Cabrera batting. Vogelsong’s pitch bounced in the dirt, ricocheted up and hit right underneath Posey’s hockey-style catcher’s mask.The slugger was on his knees for a few minutes and was attended to by a trainer before staying in the game.“When I got there, I could see the seam mark on his Adam’s apple, so I knew it got him good,” Vogelsong said. “I know he is a tough son of a gun. I think if I got hit in the throat while I was catching, I’d probably be laying on the training table.”After the game, Posey had little to say about the play. That’s because he could barely speak above a hoarse whisper.He did manage to communicate that he was “OK, except my throat hurts.”Posey went 2 for 4 with a triple and a double to increase his average to .334, four points better than Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh. McCutchen went hitless in two at-bats with a walk, dropping his average two points to .330, during the no-hitter thrown by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey on Friday night. Suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera of the Giants has a .346 mark but won’t qualify for the batting crown at his own request after a positive drug test.Bochy, who planned to give Posey a day off Sunday, said if his catcher needs it he will be out of the lineup on Saturday, too.“He had a rough start,” Bochy said. “He threw up before the game, then his throat. I’ll check on him (Saturday).”Bochy said Posey thinks he got sick because of something he ate.Sandoval had a two-run double. The Giants, 44-32 away from AT&T Park, have won 23 of their last 32 road games.Vogelsong allowed one unearned run and set a career high for wins. He struck out five and walked one as he beat San Diego for the second time in a week.Javier Lopez got the first out of the ninth inning before Santiago Casilla came in and allowed consecutive singles. Casilla got the final two outs for his 25th save in 31 chances.The Giants (92-65), who have already wrapped up the NL West title, moved within three games of Washington and Cincinnati for the league’s best record with five games remaining.San Francisco’s Marco Scutaro extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single in the third before he left the game one inning later with head and chest congestion.Padres rookie Andrew Werner (2-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.Posey led off the second with his first triple of the season and scored on Hunter Pence’s infield single.Vogelsong had a single to lead off the third followed by Scutaro’s one-out infield single. Sandoval then doubled into the left-center gap for two runs and a 3-0 lead.“I was battling,” Werner said. “Two of the five innings I gave up leadoff triples. Any time you do that, you’re going to be in a hole.”Vogelsong ran into trouble in the sixth when he allowed a leadoff single to Will Venable. Chase Headley hit a grounder to first baseman Brandon Belt, who attempted to get Venable at second but threw the ball into left field for an error.Yonder Alonso followed with an RBI single. With runners at first and third, Vogelsong struck out Chris Denorfia and got Cameron Maybin to bounce into an inning-ending double play.NOTES: Giants RHP Tim Lincecum will pitch Sunday on regular rest. There had been some question about when the two-time Cy Young Award winner would make his next start after he was hit hard in his last outing. … Posey’s triple was the third of his career. … San Diego 2B Logan Forsythe (sore right knee) was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game. … The Padres extended their player-development contract with Triple-A Tucson of the Pacific Coast League through the 2014 season. … Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (16-10, 3.26 ERA) will face Padres LHP Eric Stults (7-3, 2.81) on Saturday night.