Giants miss chance to clinch NL West, fall to Padres

Oracle Park, San Francisco, Saturday, October 2, 2021

SF Giants’ Kevin Gausman flashes first-half brilliance with Logan Webb on the deck against the Padres in the summit clash but could not stop the Padres from winning the game.

The Giants fell 3-2 in the 10th innings to the Padres and missed a chance to clinch the NL West on their field when Jake Cronenworth hit an RBI double in. As a result, the Giants’ seven-game winning streak ended, but they still had an opportunity to win the West hours later — a loss by the second-placed Los Angeles Dodgers to Milwaukee would give San Francisco the crown.

A sell-out crowd of 40,760 was ready to celebrate San Francisco’s first division crown since 2012, but the Padres spoiled the party, sending the home supporters to the exits in a state of disbelief.

FOR STARTERS

Gausman was in command against the Padres from the outset, starting with a seven-pitch first inning, and giving up one run on six hits through seven innings. Unfortunately, that was where his right hand began to cramp in part because of all the split-finger fastballs that left hitters flailing. 

It was Gausman’s second straight strong start, coming off a six-inning effort against Colorado in which he gave up three hits and one run with no walks and 11 strikeouts. He departed the game to the roar of a crowd of 40,760 after the seventh inning. The Padres scored off reliever Zack Littell in the eighth and then won it in the 10th.

For Giants, Closer Jake McGee (right oblique strain) was reinstated from the 10-day IL. The left-hander has recorded 31 saves in 36 opportunities this season. With runners on the corners and two outs in the top of the 10th, Cronenworth lined a double to the right off Jarlin García to give San Diego its first lead of the game. Melancon retired the Giants in the bottom half to earn his significant league-leading 39th save of the season. 

Tim Hill (6-6) got the win. Manny Machado drove in two runs for the Padres, who snapped a seven-game losing streak in style. In the second inning, Kris Bryant singled home Brandon Crawford to give San Francisco an early 1-0 lead. The Padres tied it at 1 in the sixth on an RBI single by Machado, but the Giants immediately regained the lead in the bottom half on Austin Slater’s 12th home run, a pinch-hit blast.

San Diego tied it at 2 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Machado. Kervin Castro (1-1) was charged with the loss for San Francisco.

Slater’s drive marked the Giants’ 18th pinch-hit homer of the season, setting an MLB record. It was Slater’s fourth pinch-hit home run of the year, tying the franchise record.

In the meantime, the Padres were without their star pitcher Chris Paddack aka Sheriff, who has been on the sidelines due to elbow injury and has been ruled out from returning to the pitch for the entire 2021 season.

Giants RHP Logan Webb (10-3, 2.93 ERA) looks for his 10th straight win in Sunday’s regular-season finale. The Padres will counter with RHP Reiss Knehr (1-1, 4.85).

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