Giants lose to Padres on Hector Sanchez walk-off home run

Giants lose to Padres on Hector Sanchez walk-off home run


SAN DIEGO -- Hector Sanchez hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning and the San Diego Padres beat San Francisco 5-3 on Saturday night to spoil the return of Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner pitched seven innings in his first start since being injured in a dirt bike accident three months ago. He left with the score tied at 3 after allowing four hits, including home runs by Matt Szczur and Jabari Blash, while striking out five and walking two.

Blash started the winning rally when he singled leading off the ninth against Cory Gearrin (3-3) and advanced on Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt against Steven Okert. Sanchez then drove a pitch off the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner for the win. It was his fourth. Sanchez started at catcher because Austin Hedges was held out as a precaution after taking a foul ball off his mask on Friday night.

Brandon Maurer (1-4) pitched the ninth for the win.

The Giants lost for the sixth time in eight games. It was San Diego's sixth win in nine games.

Bumgarner was making his first start since April 19 at Kansas City. The next day, he wiped out while riding a dirt bike on a day off in Denver, spraining the AC joint in his left shoulder and suffering bruised ribs.

The lefty retired the first seven batters before Szczur homered to left, his third. Bumgarner walked Carlos Asuaje leading off the fourth and retired the next two batters before Blash drove a two-run shot an estimated 424 feet to straightaway center field for a 3-2 lead. It was his second.

Joe Panik tied it at 3 with a solo shot to right leading off the sixth, his sixth.

Jhoulys Chacin gave up three runs and six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked four.

He labored through a 34-pitch first inning, when he loaded the bases on two walks and a single before allowing a two-run single by Hunter Pence.


Giants: Johnny Cueto was placed on the 10-day DL with blisters on the tips of his right thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Cueto (6-7, 4.59 ERA) left Friday night's game after four innings because of the blisters. He also was affected by blisters on two fingers in May. With Cueto expected to miss at least two starts, Matt Cain moves back into the rotation.

Padres: Hedges was scratched a few hours before the game as a precaution after taking a foul ball off his mask Friday night.


Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-10, 4.58 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale. His 10 losses are tied for the most in the NL.

Padres: RHP Trevor Cahill (3-3, 3.38 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start since coming off the DL (strained right shoulder).

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

PEORIA — Jeff Samardzija spent a couple minutes after Thursday’s start talking to reporters about how deep he thinks the Giants lineup can be. It’ll be a hell of a lot deeper if Hunter Pence keeps hitting like this. 

After a slow start to the spring, Pence is charging. He had three hits against the Padres: a triple that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center, a hard single up the middle, and a double to center. The more encouraging plays for the Giants happened in left field. Pence chased down a drive to the line in the third inning, leaving the bases loaded. He opened the fourth by going the other direction and gloving a fly ball to left-center. 

"A good game for Hunter, both ways," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's getting more comfortable out there. You can see it with the jumps he's getting right now. It takes a little while when you change positions, but I think he's going to be fine out there."

The Giants appear set to have Austin Jackson and Pence atop the lineup against left-handed starters, and that duo could see plenty of time early. Seven of the first nine games are against the Dodgers, who have four lefty starters. 

--- Evan Longoria had a double off the right-center wall on Wednesday after missing a week with a sore ankle. He had a single the same way in his second at-bat Thursday. More than the at-bats, Longoria has impressed with his soft hands and steady arm at third. The ankle looks fine, too. 

“My ankle feels pretty good,” Longoria said. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue going forward.”

--- It’s been a quiet spring for Andrew McCutchen, but we saw the wheels tonight. McCutchen easily stole second after a two-run single in the fifth. When Evan Longoria bounced one to the left side, shortstop Freddy Galvis tried to go to third for the lead out, but McCutchen beat that throw, too. He got up and put his hands on his hips, as if to say, "Why'd you even try that?"

--- Samardzija allowed three homers in a six-batter span in the third. He allowed three homers in an inning in his previous start, too, but he said he’s not concerned. Samardzija deemed it a sequencing issue. He’s working in a new changeup and threw it in situations he normally wouldn’t; Eric Hosmer took advantage of a floating one, crushing it to deep, deep right for the third homer. 

--- With a runner on, Brandon Belt put down a perfect bunt to foil the shift. Belt does that every spring, particularly against NL West teams, but rarely during the regular season. Maybe this will be the year?

Belt later crushed a homer to deep right. That had to feel good for a number of reasons. Belt is fighting a cold and he learned earlier in the day that his college coach, Augie Garrido, had passed away.

Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential


Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For most pitchers, spring training is a time to experiment and add a pitch or two. Josh Osich is using this month to go the other direction. 

Osich spent the offseason watching film of his 2015 season, when he looked like he might one day be the closer in San Francisco, and decided that he needed to get back to his roots. That means the curveball, which he tried so hard to mix in last year, is now far back in the cupboard. The four-seam and two-seam fastballs are once again the focus, with an emphasis on changing eye levels more than he did a year ago. The changeup and cutter will round out his arsenal for the most part. 

Osich’s raw stuff is still as good as just about any lefty reliever in the league, and he hopes to take advantage of that while putting a rough 2017 season in his rearview mirror. He had a 6.23 ERA last season and 1.73 WHIP.

“It’s just one of those learning years,” Osich said. “I tried to live at the bottom of the zone and I was, but I was actually below the zone. So then I would fall behind and need to throw a strike and that’s when guys would hit me.”

Osich, 29, had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP during that 2015 season that he keeps going back to. He walked eight batters in 28 2/3 innings, a far cry from the 27 he walked in 43 1/3 last year. While watching the 2015 version of himself, Osich saw that his hands were higher, and that’s something he’s working to replicate. He’s also trying to slow his pace to the plate. So far, the results are nothing but encouraging. Osich allowed one hit and struck out one in a 2 1/3 inning appearance on Wednesday night. Manager Bruce Bochy let him extend himself to keep the good vibes going. 

In six appearances this spring, Osich has allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings. He has seven strikeouts and one walk. 

“O, it just seems like he’s got confidence,” Bochy said. “He’s kept it simple, he’s not tinkering with different pitches. He’s throwing more strikes, and more than anything he’s just trying to pound the strike zone now with quality strikes. That’s all he has to do. You look at him and he’s hitting 95 with a couple of good off-speed pitches. That works here.”