SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Padres’ eighth inning began and ended with pinch-hitters — and they were one and the same player.
San Diego closed within a run with a six-run eighth when Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer and four pinch hitters reached base. But the San Francisco Giants managed to outslug the Padres 13-8 in the series finale Thursday.
The Giants hit four triples in a game for the first time in 55 years, including a pair by Brandon Belt in a game that featured a combined 21 runs and 31 hits and an inning that lasted 45 minutes.
“There are no moral victories,” Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. “We’re sputtering along and there is a lot of tension and frustration. We’ll get it right.”
Chris Heston (8-5), who pitched a no-hitter at the New York Mets on June 9, won for the third time in four starts. He gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked one.
“We were trying to give Heston a break there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We had to fight through the eighth. We couldn’t get them to hit it at anybody.”
Jeremy Affledt gave up consecutive doubles to pinch-hitters Yangervis Solarte and Clint Barmes ahead of Kemp’s drive to center. Pinch-hitter Derek Norris walked and Yonder Alfonso singled against Javier Lopez.
“That felt good and we got back in it,” Kemp said. “We still have a lot of fight left in us. Hopefully we can take this and turn it into something at home.”
Sergio Romo got two outs, but consecutive singles by Alexi Amarista and pinch hitter Brett Wallace drove in runs. Solarte singled in his second at-bat of the inning to cut the deficit to one run before Romo retired Barmes on a pop out.
Buster Posey and Gregor Blanco each had three RBIs for the Giants, who built a 7-0 lead by the sixth and won for the fifth time in seven games.
Will Middlebrooks tripled for the Padres.
James Shields (7-2) allowed seven runs — his most since last June — and nine hits in four-plus innings, his shortest outing this season.
“They jumped on me early to get a couple of runs,” Shields said. “After that, I felt like I was pitching well. In the fourth they got some hits when I executed pitches and they just found holes. (Angel) Pagan was a 3-2 changeup out of the zone and Posey hit one a foot off the plate and down and he managed to poke it into right.”
San Francisco scored four runs in the bottom half against Shawn Kelley and Brandon Maurer on Posey’s two-run double, Brandon Crawford’s RBI double and Matt Duffy’s RBI single.
“You wish some of those balls could be hit right at people,” Murphy said of Shields. “But if it’s not going to his day, we have to score early and make it a different game.”
The Padres fell to 3-6 since Murphy took over on the final day of San Diego’s last home stand.
“We haven’t played well and it’s time to get back home,” Murphy said. “We’ll regroup, implement and make a difference.”
Padres: Right-hander Brandon Morrow played catch on Tuesday and is expected to throw a simulated game in the next few days before possibly starting a rehab assignment.
Padres: Tyson Ross (4-7) starts at home against Arizona on Friday night. Ross threw a complete game against the D-backs in his last start, a four-hitter in which he struck out a season-best nine.
Giants: Tim Hudson (5-6) starts against Colorado on Friday night. Since giving up eight runs in a season-low 3 2/3 innings in Colorado a month ago, Hudson has rebounded with a 3.50 ERA in 30 1-3 innings.