Posey, Giants pummel Padres
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants rookie right-hander Chris Stratton was so pleased with his performance Friday night ... that shortly after picking up a win to allow his team to move into a tie with the Detroit Tigers for the worst record in baseball, he began talking playoffs.
Buster Posey drove in three runs with three doubles and Stratton combined with three relievers on an eight-hit shutout, lifting the Giants to an 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series.
Brandon Crawford also collected three hits and three RBIs for the Giants (63-97), who with the win were assured of not losing 100 games this season.
“It’s always nice to finish on a great note,” Stratton said of his 6 2/3-inning effort, which matched the longest of his career. “I feel good. Hopefully at this time next year we’ll have the playoffs.”
Carlos Asuaje and Cory Spangenberg had two hits apiece for the Padres (70-90), who had won eight of their previous 10 games in San Francisco.
“It’s a frustrating game,” said Padres manager Andy Green, whose team has lost five straight by a cumulative score of 44-9. “It’s kind of been a theme of the last (five) games: You get down early, and you get down big relatively early.”
The Giants scored three runs in the first inning, four in the fourth and one in the sixth, all with two outs. Posey had a run-scoring double in each inning.
The first seven runs came against Padres starter Jordan Lyles (1-5), who couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning.
Staked with a big early lead, Stratton (4-4) coasted, scattering seven hits. It was his third scoreless start of six innings or more since Aug. 13.
The rookie walked two and struck out seven in a 110-pitch outing. It was the most pitches he’s thrown in a major league start.
In his attempt to crack the club’s starting rotation in 2018, Stratton has gone 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his last eight starts.
“He’s made a big statement,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy observed. “You have to be impressed when a young man like this comes up (from the minors) and makes some noise that he wants to be in the rotation next year.”
Right-handers Derek Law and Kyle Crick and lefty Josh Osich completed the Giants’ fifth shutout, allowing just one hit in 2 1/3 innings. Stratton has started two of the five shutouts.
Joe Panik had four hits, and Pablo Sandoval and Jarrett Parker added two apiece for the Giants, who ran their home winning streak to four.
Eight of the Giants’ 17 hits went for extra bases, including seven doubles.
“Those timely hits win ballgames for you,” Bochy said of the two-out production. “We’ve been missing that this year. That helped us win championships.”
Pinch hitters Erick Aybar (single) and Christian Villanueva (double) accounted for two of the eight hits for the Padres, who have won all five series against the Giants this season.
Lyles was pulled two outs into the fourth inning, having allowed seven runs on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out five.
“It was a battle. I think that’s kind of been the case with him,” Green admitted. “I don’t think he got crushed, I think we had a couple of opportunities to catch some balls and we didn’t.”
Lyles might have escaped all the run damage if not for two balls that went over the head of Padres center fielder Manuel Margot.
The first occurred on a drive to the warning track by Posey with two outs in the first inning. Margot, who was playing shallow for the Giants’ slugger, never caught up to the high hit that bounced before hitting the fence.
That drove in Panik with the game’s first run. Crawford then followed with an RBI single and Sandoval added a run-scoring double, increasing the margin to 3-0.
Likewise, in the fourth, Lyles got two outs before Hunter Pence blasted a high fly to the fence in center field. Margot had room to catch it, but it caromed off his glove for what was ruled a triple.
Lyles never recovered this time. Panik drove in a run with a double and Posey added his second RBI double, ending Lyles’ night.
Crawford then made it a four-run inning with a two-run single off left-hander Kyle McGrath.
NOTES: The Giants moved into a tie with the New York Mets and Washington Nationals for fewest shutouts in the National League with five. ... The Padres were blanked for the 12th time this season. ... The Giants have lost 100 games in a season just once in their West Coast history, when they went 62-100 in 1985. ... Giants C Buster Posey’s three doubles equaled a career best set twice previously. ... San Francisco Giants RHP Matt Cain is scheduled to make the final start of his career in Saturday’s afternoon affair. The start will be the 331st for Cain, the second most in Giants history behind RHP Juan Marichal (446) for the career-long Giant. ... Major League Baseball announced Friday, effective immediately, it will present a Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player award at the end of each postseason. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy disclosed before the game that LF Austin Slater (sports hernia) underwent core muscle surgery that will prevent him from playing in the Dominican winter league this offseason.