SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner retired the first 23 batters he faced Saturday, flirting with what would have been his first no-hitter and settling for a one-hit shutout as the Giants topped the Padres, 8-0, at AT&T Park.
Bumgarner allowed only a two-out single to pinch-hitter Melvin Upton Jr., a clean single up the middle, with two outs in the eighth inning. He finished with nine strikeouts, picking up his 10th career complete game and fourth this season. The victory was the left-hander's 18th of the year, tying a career high set in 2014.
"What an incredible performance," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said as his team remained 7 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West race. "We're all a little disappointed, but yet, you witnessed just a beautiful game he threw tonight."
Marlon Byrd gave the Giants their first runs with a two-run double to left as part of a four-run fourth inning. He added an RBI single off Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy in a three-run fifth inning. Kennedy allowed seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Byrd's big night: Byrd's double got the ball rolling for the Giants, but he wasn't done there. The right fielder followed up his two-base hit with an RBI single in the fifth to extend San Francisco's lead to 7-0. He also singled in the second inning and added a walk in the seventh, capping off a 3-for-3 performance.
No no-no: Upton sat around for seven-plus innings Saturday before being called on to pinch-hit for reliever Frank Garces with two outs in the eighth inning against Bumgarner. No, no pressure there. Upton lined a single into center field, helping to prevent the Giants from tallying what could have been their fourth no-hitter against the Padres since 2009.
"In that situation, I'm just trying to have a good AB [at-bat]. He threw me a couple of fastballs, actually all fastballs, and left one out over the plate and I didn't try to do too much with it," Upton said. More >
Belt's blast: With the game well out of reach, Brandon Belt decided to give San Francisco some insurance for good measure. Belt sat on a hanging breaking ball from Garces and drove it into the right-center-field seats for his 18th homer of the season, marking a career high for the Giants first baseman.
Talk about foreshadowing: Kennedy should have known it was going to be a rough start when it took him 11 pitches -- that's right, 11 -- to retire Giants leadoff hitter Angel Pagan to start the game. Pagan fouled off six pitches before grounding out to first base. It got worse from there; Kennedy allowed four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth.
"It kind of snowballed on him," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said of Kennedy.
"The Giants are putting on a clinic, putting balls in play. We're capable of that, too, so have to do a little better job with the two-strike approach, handle the ball on the edge a little better. Teams go through this a lot." -- Murphy after the Giants have scored 17 runs on 25 hits in the first two games of this series. The Padres have had one run on five hits.
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Had Bumgarner finished with a perfect game -- or a no-hitter -- it would have marked the third no-no in as many years and the fourth since 2009 by the Giants against the Padres. Jonathan Sanchez fired a no-hitter against the Padres in 2009 and Tim Lincecum had no-no's in 2013 and then against last season.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:Odrisamer Despaigne (5-8, 5.65 ERA) steps in to make an emergency start for Colin Rea, the rookie who would have made his seventh big league start. Rea has soreness in his right elbow and forearm area. It's not known if he'll pitch again this season. Despaigne has a 3.19 ERA in 36 2/3 career innings against the Giants.
Giants:Mike Leake (9-8, 3.70) takes the mound for the sixth time as a member of the Giants. The right-hander hopes to rebound from his last start, in which he allowed six runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.