Jake Peavy allowed only Barry Bonds' homer after the first inning. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds made history by hitting his 700th career home run Friday night, but that was merely a footnote.
By dropping the 4-1 decision to the Giants in front of 42,526, the Padres took the most serious blow to their dimming postseason hopes. While Bonds' blast traveled 392 feet into the left-center field stands, it was a hit that went about 90 feet that carried as much weight, if not more.
In a shaky first inning, Padres starter Jake Peavy allowed three runs and three hits and hit two batters, which was plenty of offense to pace the Giants.
After Ray Durham poked a leadoff double to left-center in the bottom of the first, Michael Tucker hit a bunt single past the mound and toward second. Mark Loretta charged and threw to first, but not in time to catch Tucker.
"That changed the whole composure of the first inning," Peavy said. "If that ball is hit a little bit harder to Lo -- but he popped it up into no-man's land. You don't realize how big it was at the time. If that ball is hit anywhere else, we've got [a man on] third base and one out."
Peavy then tried to go inside with a cutter but hit Bonds to load the bases and followed that with an encore by hitting J.T. Snow to force in a run. The Giants were off and running in an inning that effectively decided the game.
By the time Bonds stepped to the plate and made history in the third, the game was in hand behind a solid effort by Giants starter Noah Lowry. For the record, Bonds went deep on an 0-1 curveball from Peavy to join Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players in Major League history to hit at least 700 career homers.
"I hate to see it against us in such an important game like this, but it's a great accomplishment," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's hard to believe that someone can hit 700 home runs. The third guy to ever do it in this game."
But the kicker for the Padres is they fell four games back of the Giants in the National League Wild Card race with the loss and 6 1/2 games behind the Dodgers, who rallied to win at Colorado, in the NL West.
The Giants also got the job done in the field, turning a number of great defensive plays including two double plays that erased leadoff singles, one in the sixth and another in the seventh.
"That might have been the best game on defense I've seen those guys play since I've played with them," former Giant Rich Aurilia said. "They made some nice plays out there tonight."
Jake Peavy / P
Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Peavy (12-6) had owned the Giants this season, posting a 2-0 mark with a 1.03 ERA. But ownership comes with a price and the Giants cashed in quickly.
"Early in the game, my command wasn't really there; maybe it was the excitement about everything that was going on," Peavy said of the carnival-like atmosphere at SBC Park. "It was a big game, one that we needed to win. Maybe it was some excitement that caused some balls to be erratic."
Aside from Bonds' historic blast, Peavy settled down to go seven innings and allowed a total of four runs and eight hits. Peavy also walked three and struck out seven to take the loss, his third in his last four starts.
"Jake was a little up in that first inning and a little erratic with his command," Bochy said. "But he got into a groove and he pitched well after that."
Lowry (5-0) started for the Giants and kept the Padres off balance, allowing just a run over 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander gave up five hits, walked two and struck out three to pick up the win.
"He's a finesse guy who throws a lot of changeups and threw his fastball well to both sides of the plate," Aurilia said. "The main thing for him was he kept us off the board."
Dustin Hermanson pitched the ninth for his 14th save in his 16th opportunity.
The Giants jumped out early. After Snow was hit by a pitch that forced in the first Giants run, A.J. Pierzynski followed with an RBI single and Marquis Grissom hit a sacrifice fly as the Giants took a 3-0 lead.
The Padres got on the board in the top of the seventh on Aurilia's two-out RBI double to right-center, scoring Ryan Klesko.
Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.