SAN DIEGO -- Chris Heston took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Tuesday and the Giants hit three home runs on their way to a 9-3 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.
Hector Sanchez drilled a grand slam in the sixth inning for San Francisco and Brandon Crawford added three hits, including a three-run homer. Hunter Pence contributed a second-inning leadoff homer that opened the scoring.
Heston, who tossed a no-hitter against the Mets on June 9, lost his no-hit bid when he allowed a broken-bat, bloop single to Melvin Upton Jr. to start the sixth. That was the lone hit he allowed San Diego in 7 1/3 shutout innings.
"He was on it," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said of Heston. "Made great pitches, quality pitches. He was awfully good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Breaking through: The Giants couldn't figure out Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne, who was 2-0 with an 0.91 ERA lifetime against them -- until Tuesday. By scoring six runs against Despaigne in five innings, San Francisco doubled its scoring total off the right-hander in five previous games.
"You had hitters who were attacking the [strike] zone," Despaigne said through a translator. "They were hitting the ball hard." More >
Double your pleasure: On a night when Despaigne didn't have his best stuff, he still managed to keep the game reasonably close by getting double-play ground balls in the first and second innings. He could have used one in the fourth inning when Crawford homered.
Slamming the door: Sanchez's second career grand slam clinched the victory for the Giants, who scored only nine runs in their previous five games here this season.
"We've had tough times here off their pitching," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Sanchez began the season with the Giants but has spent most of the year with Triple-A Sacramento, where he hit .280 after batting .194 with San Francisco. While receiving ample playing time with Sacramento, "I was working on my swing," Sanchez repeated.
Avoiding a no-no: Upton's single to start the sixth inning got the Padres their first hit and helped prevent the Giants from getting too far down the road on what could have been their fourth no-hitter against the Padres in the last six years -- one by Jonathan Sanchez (2009) and two by Tim Lincecum (2013 and 2014).
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Padres pitching has generally been very good in the last month. The nine runs the Padres allowed Tuesday were the most the team has surrendered in a game since these same Giants scored 13 during a victory at AT&T Park on June 25.
San Diego reliever Shawn Kelley had words with Sanchez after getting him to ground out to first base in the ninth inning. The benches cleared but order was quickly restored with no ejections.
The Padres felt Sanchez admired his home run a little too long. Said Kelley, "I guess that's part of the game now. To me, that's a little disrespectful to Dale [Thayer]. He's working hard out there. I don't think there's a place in the game for that."
Kelley had words in the ninth inning with Sanchez, who hit his grand slam off Thayer. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: Historically, Petco Park has been friendly to Matt Cain, San Francisco's starter in Wednesday's series finale at San Diego. His 2.33 ERA in 17 starts at Petco Park belies his 4-8 record there. Cain has allowed two runs or fewer while pitching at least six innings in 13 of 17 appearances at San Diego.
Padres:James Shields (8-3, 3.92) will get the start in the series finale at 12:40 p.m. PT on Wednesday. The Giants were responsible for Shields' worst start of the season, as he allowed seven earned runs in four innings of a loss on June 25.