SAN DIEGO (AP) — Johnny Cueto gave the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen another night off.
Cueto threw a four-hitter for San Francisco’s second straight complete game and Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer, leading the Giants to their seventh straight win with a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
A night after Madison Bumgarner stymied the Padres, Cueto struck out eight and walked two while allowing one run in his second complete game of the season — both coming against the Padres. He improved to 4-1 in his career vs. San Diego, including a shutout on April 26.
“I’m happy I threw a complete game,” Cueto said. “That’s what we are always trying to do. As long as we are throwing a complete game, the bullpen can relax and enjoy themselves out there.”
The Giants, who have won six in a row on the road, also improved to 5-0 against San Diego this season, and have won 13 of the last 16 contests between the teams.
“Two complete games, and quite an effort Johnny gave us tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Your good starters are great closers, too, and he knows how to finish a game.”
Buster Posey led off the fourth with a walk from Drew Pomeranz (4-4), who hadn’t allowed a run in 18 consecutive innings, and Pence followed with a homer that just cleared the right-field wall.
“I was really just trying to shorten up,” Pence said. “I think he was supposed to throw that one more up and in, but it got away from him. I used his power and found a way.”
Pomeranz gave Pence all the credit.
“I don’t want to say I made one bad pitch because that really wasn’t a bad pitch,” Pomeranz said. “That guy put a crazy swing on it. ... But it happens. But other than that, it was pretty good overall.”
San Diego struck first when Brett Wallace doubled in the second and scored on a two-run single by Alexei Ramirez. Cueto went on to retire 15 of the next 16 batters he faced.
The Padres did not advance a runner past first base against Cueto after the second inning. Melvin Upton Jr. drew a two-out walk in the ninth, but Bochy opted to leave Cueto in the game.
“He was facing his last hitter, to be honest,” Bochy said. “His stuff was still good, but he just missed a couple pitches there to Upton.”
Pomeranz gave up two runs and four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five. The two runs were the first Pomeranz has allowed at Petco Park this season in three starts.
“(Cueto) plays into your aggression,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He throws pitches that have the appearances of strikes that gets you chasing out of the zone. He was somewhat masterful today.”
Padres: IF Yangervis Solarte (hamstring) is on a rehab assignment and making progress. ... RHP Tyson Ross (shoulder) has not resumed throwing since going on the disabled list after making one start on opening day.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (5-2, 2.88) looks to follow a solid outing in his last appearance in which he allowed one run over eight innings at Arizona.
Padres: RHP James Shields (2-5, 3.12) starts Thursday night. He had his best outing of the season in his last start, when he tossed seven scoreless innings at Milwaukee.