Hunter Renfroe’s seventh-inning homer off of Cory Gearrin proved to be the decisive blow as the San Diego Padres squeaked out a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
In a battle of the bullpens, the benefactor turned out to be Adam Cimber, who was certainly familiar with the Giants from his time at the University of San Francisco. The sidearmer started his career at the University of Washington, but transferred to USF before the 2013 season. He ended up getting the win in relief by throwing two scoreless innings.
After Cimber pitched a perfect sixth, he got huge help from the defense in the seventh. Joe Panik tripled with one out, but Renfroe caught an Andrew McCutchen liner and threw to Christian Villanueva, whose relay throw home was handled by A.J. Ellis to retire Panik. Freddy Galvis singled to lead off the bottom of the inning, and Renfroe followed with a homer to put San Diego (6-10) back in front.
It turned into a battle of the bullpens after neither starter made it past the fifth inning. Derek Holland allowed three runs, including a Villanueva homer in the first inning, and was lifted with two outs in the fifth after Jose Pirela’s RBI double and a pair of walks. Reyes Moronta got out of the bases-loaded jam by covering first on a hard-hit grounder.
The Giants had taken the lead against Clayton Richard, tying the game on an Evan Longoria homer in the fourth and going in front when Austin Jackson singled home Brandon Crawford, who had tripled earlier in the inning. San Francisco (6-8) went up by two when Andrew McCutchen hit his second homer of the year in the top of the fifth, but Holland allowed a run in the bottom half and Renfroe’s blast proved to be fatal.
A two-out double by Longoria in the eighth prompted Padres manager Andy Green to bring in Brad Hand for a four-out save, and he struck out all four men he faced. Hunter Pence came in to pinch-hit against Hand, and he was disposed of with a high fastball. Crawford, Kelby Tomlinson and Jackson all struck out in the ninth, guaranteeing the hosts no worse than a series split.
Tyler Beede will face East Bay native Joey Lucchesi, a graduate of Newark Memorial HS, in the series finale on Sunday at 1:10 p.m.MLB