Gonzalez delivers go-ahead single as Padres win

The momentum shifted in a matter of moments, a sellout crowd

going all out against San Diego.

The San Francisco Giants tied the game with a three-run eighth

inning, then the Padres came right back with the big hits they

needed to win in the ninth.

Alberto Gonzalez hit a go-ahead single in the ninth inning, Kyle

Blanks had a two-run homer and the Padres beat the reeling World

Series champions 7-5 on Tuesday night for their season-best fifth

straight victory.

”The Giants are defending world champs, so for a team like us

to play a game like this where young kids didn’t give up one bit

shows a lot of character for us,” closer Heath Bell said.

Nick Hundley doubled against Ramon Ramirez (2-2) to start the

ninth, then Logan Forsythe sacrificed him to third before Gonzalez

singled up the middle. After a wild pitch, Will Venable added a

run-scoring single.

Erik Hamren (1-0) retired pinch-hitter Miguel Tejada on a

lineout to end the Giants’ three-run eighth for his first major

league win. Bell finished for his 35th save in 39


The Giants fell two games behind the first-place Diamondbacks in

the NL West after Arizona won at Washington.

Mat Latos didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, but the

Padres’ bullpen couldn’t hold a three-run lead.

Recent call-up Hector Sanchez singled in the eighth for his

first major league hit and RBI, then Orlando Cabrera followed with

a tying RBI single that chased Luke Gregerson.

But pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran popped out to end the eighth a

few hours after he was activated from the disabled list. He

received a roaring ovation from the sellout crowd of 41,288 when he

stepped into the batter’s box.

Jesus Guzman and Cameron Maybin each hit an RBI single for the

Padres, who kicked off an eight-game road trip and a stretch with

30 straight games against division foes.

”We gave up the three in the (eighth), but in the dugout there

was still positive energy,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”That

was a huge momentum shift to the Giants and we got it back.”

Blanks’ second-inning drive was the first home run allowed by

Matt Cain in 13 starts since June 14 at Arizona.

The Giants, back in their ballpark by the bay for a season-long

12-game homestand, also hurt their cause with three errors. San

Diego overcame two blunders of its own.

Chris Stewart broke up Latos’ no-hit bid with a bloop single to

center leading off the fifth.

Latos allowed only Cody Ross’ two-out walk in the second before

running into trouble in the fourth. The right-hander retired the

first two batters, then walked the bases loaded for Aaron Rowand,

but he grounded out. Ross hit an RBI double in the eighth.

After Maybin’s third-inning RBI single, Cain retired the next 10

batters in order before giving up a leadoff single to Orlando

Hudson in the seventh.

Hudson fouled a ball off his right foot in the eighth and fell

to the ground, writhing in pain. He walked it off and drew a walk

on the next pitch from Steve Edlefsen.

The Giants scored two in the sixth, getting a break on Guzman’s

gaffe at first base. Guzman fielded Brandon Belt’s sharp grounder,

held onto the ball trying to freeze the runner and then opted to

throw home rather than make the routine out at first. His throw was

wild and well up the third-base line for a two-run error.

Cain was charged with an error when he apparently missed the bag

while covering first on Hudson’s grounder leading off the second.

Blanks then homered on an 0-2 pitch.

The three errors matched San Francisco’s season high and gave

the Giants 92 on the season.

Things aren’t going well for the defending champs. San Francisco

placed five players on the disabled list during its recent 4-6 road

trip and six others missed time with injuries.

The Giants added to that list Tuesday but also got some good

news with Beltran’s return from a strained right hand and wrist.

The switch-hitter hopes to start Wednesday night.

San Francisco put left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez on the

15-day DL with a sprained left ankle. Outfielder Nate Schierholtz

was in a walking boot for a hairline fracture in his right foot.

Schierholtz is going to try to play through it after a couple of

days of rest.

In the first, Aubrey Huff tried to chase down Guzman’s ball in

foul territory and right fielder Ross charged in, slid low and took

Huff down. Huff was slow getting up but stayed in the game.

”I really consider ourselves fortunate nobody got hurt,”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”It’s amazing: What can go wrong

is going wrong right now. We didn’t catch that ball and they scored

a run.”

NOTES: Blanks has hit safely in 14 of his last 18 games since

Aug. 5 – getting six homers and 18 RBIs in that span. … Maybin,

San Diego’s CF who wears No. 24 like Hall of Famer Willie Mays, got

to meet the Say Hey Kid at his Bay Area home Tuesday. … RHP Tim

Lincecum (11-10) pitches Wednesday night for the Giants looking for

his third win in four starts this season vs. San Diego. He is 7-4

with a 2.16 ERA lifetime in 16 career starts against the Padres.

… Tim Stauffer (8-9) takes the mound for San Diego looking to

improve on his 3-5 road record.