Giants take series after offense erupts late

Giants take series after offense erupts late

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants concluded their three-game series at Petco Park, as well as a successful two-city trip, with a 7-1 victory Wednesday afternoon over the Padres.

San Francisco entered the seventh inning tied, before rallying for three runs in back-to-back innings. Buster Posey's two-run double, followed by Hunter Pence's RBI single, fueled the seventh-inning uprising against San Diego reliever Brandon Maurer (6-3). Brandon Crawford led off the eighth with his 14th home run, tying him with Posey for the team lead.

Posey playing his way into another MVP discussion?

Asked if he thought he could surpass Posey by the end of the season, Crawford said impishly, "I don't see why not."

San Diego's lone run came off of Matt Cain (2-1), who made his fourth start since returning from a right flexor tendon strain. The right-hander allowed one run in six innings, faltering only when Jedd Gyorko homered leading off the second inning.

Posey's two-run double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Cain looks sharp: The right-hander's effectiveness continued to rise as he put his health problems further behind him. Cain improved his Petco Park ERA to 2.29 in 18 starts.

"The first couple of innings, I was a little erratic," Cain said. "I settled down later on, which was really a benefit."

Said Posey: "He has to be encouraged with some of the swings he got. There was some soft contact in there."

Cain holds Padres to one run

No-luck Kemp: In the Padres' third with Abraham Almonte on first base, Matt Kemp hit a ground-rule double that would have driven in a run had the ball remained in play. Kemp also had two doubles wiped off the scorecard on Sunday's rainout versus the Rockies.

The Padres' rally was thwarted one batter later when Cain got Gyorko to strike out swinging.

Cain gets out of trouble

All-around offense: With home runs from Brandon Belt and Crawford, the Giants have now hit five homers in the last two games and seven in their last four. But one of the most important plate appearances was turned in by Matt Duffy, who struck out in his first three at-bats but drew a walk to set up Posey's big seventh-inning double.

"The biggest thing is to keep the game close and let them do their work," Cain said, praising the offense's production.

Crawford's solo smash

Gyork-Store Called: Gyorko's 394-foot homer in the second inning gave the Padres their only run. Since being called up from Triple-A El Paso on June 30, he has hit three home runs and five for the season.

Padres turn double play

QUOTABLE

"He worked hard in those five innings, 96 pitches. There was a certain part of the order coming up that I knew [Marcos] Mateo could get out. I think James understood it, too." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy on the decision to remove James Shields after 96 pitches

Shields: 'I definitely had more in the tank'

TAMING THE GIANTS EARLY

Shields opened the game with five scoreless innings, striking out seven, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning. He was at 96 pitches and the Padres were looking for more offense, leading 1-0. The Padres, however, didn't score again and the bullpen faltered.

Padres' oft-reliable bullpen struggles vs. Giants

"I was commanding the zone well, using my fastball quite a bit and keeping them off-balance. I felt great today," Shields said.

Shields tosses five scoreless

REPLAY REVIEW
In the second inning, Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call that Belt was ruled out after attempting to steal second base. The ruling on the field was overturned. Belt now has five stolen bases for the season.

Belt steals second base

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants open a three-game Interleague series Friday at 7:15 p.m. against the A's at AT&T Park. Jake Peavy is 22-13 with a 2.94 ERA in 44 Interleague games (including 43 starts).

Padres: The Padres will continue their 10-game homestand as the Marlins come to San Diego for a four-game series starting on Thursday at 7:10 p.m PT. San Diego will send Tyson Ross (6-7, 3.38 ERA) to the mound. Ross hasn't given up a home run in 15 starts, which is tied for a franchise record.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.