Hundley gets 4 hits, Giants beat Padres 9-4; Smith returns
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Giants backup catcher Nick Hundley knew he needed a triple to complete the cycle and fully intended on going for it after lacing a ball into the gap in left-center field in the sixth inning.
”And then I almost go thrown out at second,” Hundley said.
Hundley homered, doubled twice and matched his career high with four hits, Brandon Crawford broke out of a lengthy slump with three RBIs and the Giants beat the San Diego Padres 9-4 on Wednesday.
Austin Jackson added two hits and two RBIs and Derek Holland pitched five innings for his first win of the season for San Francisco.
The Giants finished 7-3 on their homestand and celebrated left-handed reliever Will Smith’s first appearance in the big leagues in nearly 19 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 30, 2017. Smith pitched one scoreless inning.
”Great homestand,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ”It was good to get another series. Guys played well. We had some big hits. Really, everybody did something today.”
Hundley had a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning Monday night to beat the Padres. This time, the veteran backup catcher had an RBI single in the first, doubled and scored in the third, then hit a two-run homer off starter Clayton Richard (1-4) in the fourth.
Hundley also had a standup double in the sixth. He hit five triples in 2015, but has only one since then.
”I think you’re starting to see us come together and have really quality at-bats from top to bottom,” Hundley said.
Giants right fielder Andrew McCutchen left the game in the third after getting hit in the back of his elbow by a pitch. X-rays were negative.
”It caught him pretty good,” Bochy said. ”It sounded like it hit the bat. We’ll see how he’s doing Friday.”
Eric Hosmer had two hits and three RBIs for San Diego. Matt Szczur hit his first home run of the season.
”We had plenty enough time to get in it,” Padres manager Andy Green said. ”Maybe the crucial time was when we scored two in the third to cut it to one and then they score two. We need to win baseball games. We need to get three, four, five in a row to get going.”
Holland (1-3) allowed three runs. Five relievers combined to retire 12 batters.
Richard gave up six earned runs over four innings. The lefty struck out six but walked four.
Smith last pitched in the majors in Game 4 of the NL Division Series on Oct. 11, 2016. He underwent surgery five months later and vigorously rehabbed until getting the call from Bochy in the seventh. Smith walked his first batter before striking out two of the next three, including Hosmer.
”Just to be able to play baseball again was a pretty incredible feeling I’ll probably never forget,” Smith said. ”It was kind of just like stepping back in there. In the bullpen going in, I was a little like `It’s about to happen. You’re back, you’re back in the big leagues.”’
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto is seeking a second opinion on his sore pitching elbow and might meet with specialist Dr. James Andrews during the team’s upcoming road trip. … Closer Greg Melancon (right elbow flexor strain) will throw a bullpen Saturday. … LHP Josh Osich (right hip strain) flew to Arizona to begin throwing.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-1, 2.78 ERA) will face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in Mexico when the two teams begin a three-day series south of the border. Lucchesi’s ERA is the lowest among all qualifying rookies in the majors.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (2-2, 3.90) tries to bounce back from his worst start of the season when San Francisco begins a 10-game road trip Friday in Atlanta. Stratton retired only four batters and allowed six runs against the Dodgers last Saturday.