SAN DIEGO -- It's an equation the Padres know all too well: Missed opportunities and key mistakes add up to losses. That math held true Wednesday, as defensive lapses and a 1-for-11 mark with runners in scoring position combined to send the Padres to their 38th loss of the season.
"The big hit ... we're not getting it," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We just need a little more production from the bottom. But we're the team where it's got to come from everyone."
The Padres fell victim to multiple squandered scoring chances and a few defensive miscues en route to a 6-5 loss to the Giants. The fatal blunder came in the bottom of the sixth with the Padres down just one. San Francisco leadoff man Gregor Blanco hit a routine ground ball in the direction of Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe. As Forsythe charged, the ball hopped under his glove and rolled into the right-field gap, allowing Joaquin Arias and Brandon Crawford to cross home plate with the game's decisive runs.
Making that inning all the more devastating was the fact that the Padres, who rallied to an exciting walk-off victory Tuesday night, were showing signs of life offensively again Wednesday -- at least early on. Though he ended up recording a victory, Giants starter Madison Bumgarner yielded four runs to the Padres, a large sum for the lefty, who has traditionally handled the Padres with ease. He boasts a 3-2 career record and 3.24 ERA against his National League West rival.
"[Hitting coach Phil Plantier] and the hitters had a good plan against him," Black said." And he might not have been as sharp as we've seen him in the past. I know that we didn't swing at a lot of bad pitches from him."
The Padres certainly couldn't afford to swing at any bad pitches early, as they already faced an imposing deficit by the time they came to bat in the bottom of the first. Before Padres starter Clayton Richard had even recorded an out in the top of that inning, the Giants had a run and three hits, the biggest an RBI double from red-hot Melky Cabrera. A Buster Posey sacrifice fly built the lead to two, and a Nick Hundley passed ball allowed a third run to score before the dust settled. Richard took the loss after giving up six runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings of work.
"Before you know it, it's 3-0," Black said. "That first inning, they hit the ball on the nose. After that, he made better pitches. Clayton didn't pitch poorly."
The Padres kicked up some dust of their own in the bottom of the inning, as right fielder Chris Denorfia smacked a leadoff double. He scored on a Chase Headley double, and an RBI triple from Jesus Guzman drove in Headley to bring the Padres within one.
Both pitchers settled in for the next few innings, with neither side conceding a run until Gregor Blanco padded the Giants' lead with a solo home run in the top of the fifth. But Cameron Maybin, who has 10 home runs in his last 15 games at Petco Park, responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the inning.
Then came that fateful top of the sixth, but even after falling behind 6-3, it looked as if the Padres might battle back yet again. Carlos Quentin extended his season-opening hit streak to seven games with a single to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and Guzman and Forsythe both reached to give the Padres a bases-loaded, no-out opportunity. But Hundley struck out, and while a ground ball from shortstop Everth Cabrera scored Quentin, one run was all the Padres could muster.
"We had a lot of chances. Guys have been great offensively," said Hundley, who is hitting just .164 this season after a .288 season last year, "We win the game if I swing the bat better. It's pretty cut and dry. We win the game if I play better."
But Hundley wasn't the only Padre to come up short with runners in scoring position. San Diego hit just .091 in those situations Wednesday and left seven men on base.
Sergio Romo struck out two in a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn the save, his third of the season.
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.