The Padres bullpen that had been so sharp this season faltered on Saturday against the Giants, giving up three runs as San Diego dropped the opening game of their series with San Francisco 5-3.
San Diego gave the ball to starter Odrisamer Despaigne, and he excelled. He allowed one run in six innings, coming on a second-run blast by Gregor Blanco. He didn’t allow another hit in his outing, cruising through the Giants lineup to the tune of two hits allowed and four strikeouts. Despaigne did allow four walks, but he was able to get out of each inning in which he walked a man.
On the offensive end, San Diego struggled against Giants starter Tim Hudson, but were able to break through in the sixth. Brooks Conrad and Alexi Amarista both singled to open up the inning, and Conrad was brought home on a Seth Smith sacrifice fly.
With the game tied at one run apiece, the Padres went to the bullpen, calling on reliever Alex Torres in the seventh. Things immediately went awry for Torres, as he walked the first two batters he faced then balked during the third at-bat, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Blanco scored on a Joe Panik sacrifice fly, but Torres prevented another run from scoring as he worked a fly out and ground out from Tyler Colvin and Hunter Pence.
Chase Headley struck out to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, but his teammates picked him up. Yonder Alonso doubled and Jake Goebbert followed with a triple, his first in the big leagues as Alonso scored to tie the game. Goebbert came home on a Cameron Maybin walk to give San Diego their first lead on the evening at 3-2.
Joaquin Benoit struck out Brandon Belt and worked two ground outs from the Giants as he cruised through the eighth, preserving the lead as Huston Street came in to close out the game in the ninth. Merely two pitches into the inning, Michael Morse took Street deep on a slider blasted to the left field bleachers. The Padres got a leadoff double from Chase Headley to open up the bottom of the ninth, but they couldn’t bring him home and the two teams moved to extra innings.
The Giants wasted no time re-taking the lead in the top of the tenth. Hunter Pence led off with a double and Brandon Belt took a 94 mph fastball and sent it into the right field bleachers as his blast gave San Francisco a 5-3 lead.
The Padres wil look to take the second game of the series as they play the Giants on Sunday as Jesse Hahn will take on Tim Lincecum. The last time the Padres saw Lincecum he no-hit them, the second time in his career he’s no-hit the Pads.