The offensive woes that have plagued the Giants so far in 2018 took a break for at least one night as three runs in the first inning Thursday night paving the way to a 7-0 win over the San Diego Padres.
San Diego starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell struggled to find the strike zone in the early going, walking three in a three-run first inning. Evan Longoria brought home the first run on a force-out, and Hunter Pence dropped a two-out, two-run single into shallow right field to make it 3-0 before Chris Stratton took the mound.
Stratton had his way with a depleted San Diego lineup, allowing just one hit on a pinch-hit single to Clayton Richard, who batted for Mitchell in the bottom of the third. Richard homered in Colorado earlier in the week, and rather than burn a bench player early in the game, manager Andy Green went to one of his starting pitchers, which paid off. With Wil Myers and Manuel Margot both on the disabled list, Stratton had very few issues getting through seven innings on 101 pitches. He issued three walks and struck out four.
Things got out of hand when rookie Colten Brewer made his debut for San Diego (4-10) in the top of the sixth. An error by Carlos Villanueva scored two runs, and another two runs scored on Buster Posey’s double. Though all of the runs against Brewer were unearned, his debut wasn’t memorable for any positive reasons.
Derek Law, called up by San Francisco (6-6) before the game during the ongoing roster shuffle, pitched a perfect eighth and ninth to wrap things up and give some much-needed rest to a beleaguered Giants bullpen.
In all, the San Francisco offense not only outhit the Padres 10-1, but drew eight walks. Mitchell threw two more walks in the second and third innings before being pulled, Brewer threw two as part of his rough debut and Robbie Erlin, who got the final ten outs for San Diego, threw one.
The Padres did manage to get through the game without using any critical relievers, including closer Brad Hand and Japanese submariner Kazuhisa Makita.
Ty Blach takes the mound for San Francisco on Friday, while the Padres counter with Tyson Ross.