SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ian Kennedy pitched seven innings for his third consecutive win, Seth Smith hit a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Friday night.
One day after clinching a playoff berth, San Francisco couldn’t muster much at the plate and dropped two games off the pace in the race to host the NL wild-card game on Wednesday.
Rene Rivera singled in a pair of runs and had two hits, and Yasmani Grandal also drove in a run to help the Padres clinch the season series against their division rivals for the first time since 2010.
Kennedy (13-13) gave up one unearned run and four hits while going over 200 innings pitched for the third time in his career. He’s the first San Diego right-hander to do that since current Giants pitcher Jake Peavy in 2007.
The Giants managed just five hits and repeatedly came up empty with runners in scoring position. They got four runners to second base with one out and failed to score each time.
Manager Bruce Bochy’s club is assured of playing next week’s wild-card game on the road. San Francisco is two games behind Pittsburgh with two to go. The Pirates hold the tiebreaker, giving them homefield advantage.
San Diego, which rallied from a 6-0 deficit to lead the Giants late before losing 9-8 on Friday, led from the beginning this time.
The Padres jumped on San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong (8-13) for a run in the first then broke the game open with a three-run sixth.
Kennedy retired the final five batters he faced. Kevin Quackenbush worked the eighth and Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Giants: All-Star catcher Buster Posey was held out of the lineup as a precaution after undergoing an MRI on his back. Posey has been bothered by some nagging soreness. Since Aug. 21, Posey leads the majors with a .413 average.
Padres: LHP Eric Stults (8-17) is seeking his third win in four starts. A ninth victory would be the second-most of Stults’ career.
Giants: Resurgent RHP Peavy (6-4) will make his first career start against the Padres. Peavy broke into the majors with San Diego in 2002 and spent nearly eight seasons there.