Padres squander chances in loss
Gonzalez shot ties it in eighth; Hoffman gives up run in 10th
SAN DIEGO -- A run that could have been prevented and a missed opportunity. Two plays. In a game full of great plays and each team getting and giving opportunities, those two plays really hurt the Padres as they lost to the Giants, 3-2, on Friday night in front of 33,926 fans.
The first, a passed ball by catcher Nick Hundley on a delivery from starter Josh Banks led to a run scoring from third.
The passed ball was just some miscommunication between the pitcher and his catcher. One thought splitter, the other thought fastball.
"[We] just got crossed up on the signs," Hundley said. "He threw a split when I thought a fastball was coming. Just bad timing. He shouldn't have to worry about not being able to see the signs. That's unacceptable on my end to have that happen."
The second one ended the game. Three straight singles by Edgar Gonzalez, Brian Giles and Adrian Gonzalez made it a bases-loaded situation, with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning. Kevin Kouzmanoff was coming to the plate. With a 2-2 count, Kouzmanoff hit a hard grounder to Ivan Ochaoa, the shortstop, who made a great play to touch the bag to get Adrian and then threw out Kouzmanoff at first. Game over.
"It's one of those things where that's the way it's gone for us," Adrian said. "Kouz hits it in the right spot, at the right speed and he gets thrown out by one step. In other years, he might've hit it just off or he beats it out. We tend to hit the balls at the wrong place at the wrong time. And that goes for all of us, the entire year."
The air of the game seemed like the Padres would get some at-home magic working for them, as the Giants could never really separate themselves. Josh Banks did a solid job, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits. Even while Tim Lincecum was on the other side throwing 95-mph fastballs that helped him rack up 11 strikeouts during his seven innings of work.
A sacrifice fly by Fred Lewis that scored Randy Winn gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
But the Padres answered in the bottom of the second inning, on an RBI single by Luis Rodriguez. On the play, Giants' first baseman John Bowker made a great snag, but couldn't decide where he wanted to go with the ball. As Kouzmanoff charged toward home, Bowker realized that his best play would be to go to first, but Rodriguez slid headfirst into the base and was called safe.
The play tied the game at 1.
The passed ball by Hundley gave the lead back to the Giants, and it would stay that way until the eighth inning.
Coming up in the bottom of an inning that saw center fielder Jody Gerut double-up Bowker at third to prevent an one-out man-on-third situation for the Giants, Adrian walked up the plate. He went through his approach, saw the first pitch from Giants' reliever Jack Taschner and liked it. A lot. So much that he sent it over the left-center-field wall to tie the game.
"When I hit it, I told myself it was out of here," Adrian said. "But then two steps into it, I was like, 'it might not get out.' Just the whole PETCO fear of the ball not getting out."
That's what felt different about this game. Moments where it seemed like it wouldn't, it would. Arian tied the game and Mike Adams and Heath Bell would pitch the Padres into extra innings.
In the tenth, Padres manager Bud Black called on future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman to, at the very least, preserve the tie. But after getting the first two outs, Emmanuel Burriss hit a bloop single over the head of Rodriguez. The Giants' sent pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez to the plate and he hit a 2-0 fastball to right to score Burriss.
That put the Giants ahead, 3-2.
"Same parameters," Hoffman said of pitching in the 10th instead of the ninth, "you gotta put up a goose egg and give your team a chance."
There was no goose egg this time, but his team did have a chance, with the bases loaded in the tenth for Kouzmanoff. But it just wasn't their night.
Ronald P. Clark is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.