Giants edge Padres to earn virtual tie
San Francisco pulled into a virtual tie with San Diego atop the NL West with a 1-0 victory on Friday night when a decision by Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada led to the Giants scoring a run in the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit.
The Padres (79-61) hold the slimmest possible lead over the Giants (80-62), .564-.563. San Francisco has won nine of 12 while the Padres have lost 12 of 15. The Padres' recent 10-game losing streak trimmed 5 1/2 games off their lead, which was 6 1/2 games on Aug. 25. They rebounded with a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers but have lost the first two of this four-game series against the Giants.
The Colorado Rockies are just 2 1/2 back after winning their eighth straight, 13-4 against Arizona.
It was the 14th straight game in which the Padres were held to four or fewer runs.
Lefty Jonathan Sanchez and five relievers combined on a three-hitter. Brian Wilson finished for a five-out save, his career-high 42nd in 46 chances. He's tied with Tampa Bay's Rafael Soriano for the major league lead.
Tejada's decision to try to throw out Aubrey Huff at third base instead of going for the out at first on Jose Guillen's grounder led to the Giants' seventh-inning run.
Huff was hit in the right elbow by a pitch from Clayton Richard leading off the inning and stole second as Pat Burrell struck out. Huff took off for third on Guillen's grounder. Tejada glanced at first before throwing to third, but Huff slid in before Chase Headley could tag him. Huff then scored as Guillen was forced on Juan Uribe's grounder to third.
Santiago Casilla (7-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.
Sanchez was gone after five scoreless innings, having given up just one hit but walking a season-high seven. He struck out four.
It was Sanchez's first start against San Diego since a 3-2 loss to the Padres at San Francisco on Aug. 13. A few days before that start, Sanchez guaranteed that the Giants would sweep that series, but the Padres took two of three. Sanchez no-hit the Padres in 2009.
Richard (12-7) allowed one run and two hits in six-plus innings, struck out three and walked one.
The Giants had the bases loaded and one out in the ninth when Wilson hit a comebacker to Ryan Webb. Webb threw home to force Uribe, who grabbed catcher Nick Hundley's right calf, causing him to twist and drop the ball as he went to throw to first. Umpire Chris Guccione immediately called Wilson out due to Uribe's interference.
NOTES: Wilson's previous career high in saves was 41 in 2008. ... Wilson has nine saves in 10 opportunities this season when pitching more than 1 1-3 innings. ... Saturday's pitching matchup is San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner (5-4) vs. Tim Stauffer (3-3), while Sunday's series finale will have a marquee matchup between two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (13-9) and Padres ace Mat Latos (14-5), whose 2.21 ERA is the best in the big leagues. On Tuesday night, Latos set a big league record with his 15th straight start of five or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. He had been tied with Greg Maddux (1993-94) and Mike Scott (1986) with 14.