SAN DIEGO -- Jedd Gyorko celebrated his 27th birthday in style Wednesday as he hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Padres edged the Giants, 5-4, at Petco Park. With the loss, the Giants fell seven games back of the Dodgers in the National League West, as Los Angeles won Wednesday.
"A lot of back and forth, for sure," said Gyorko, noting there were three lead changes from the eighth inning on. "It was a good win. We could have easily thrown in the towel."
Travis Jankowski gave the Padres a 4-3 lead with a two-run double in the eighth inning but the Giants came back to tie the game in the ninth against closer Craig Kimbrel, who had a two-out wild pitch that scored the tying run from third base.
Jarrett Parker's opposite-field home run to left field to start the eighth gave the Giants a brief lead right after the Padres tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Yangervis Solarte lined a two-run double into the right-center gap with two outs.
The hit by Solarte came after Giants pitcher Jake Peavy left the game after throwing six scoreless innings, allowing four hits. His counterpart, Andrew Cashner, allowed two runs over six innings, giving up two hits, one after the first.
The Giants left the ballpark knowing their status as contenders was increasingly endangered.
"We're hanging by a thread," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Said Peavy, "It stinks being in this position. But you have to go forward and show up tomorrow."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Better Call Sol: In a bind Wednesday, the Padres got a big hit from one of their most consistent players to get back in the game, as Solarte jumped on a pitch from Giants reliever Josh Osich, lining it into the gap in right-center for a game-tying, two-run double.
Veteran move: Peavy pushed his ERA under 4.00 for the first time since early August. Displaying his usual bend-but-don't-break tendencies, Peavy stranded four runners in scoring position through six innings. He's 7-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 15 starts since returning from the disabled list July 3.
Peavy supported Bochy's decision to remove him from the game.
"You always feel you can work longer," Peavy said. "But I had to work a little bit harder in the first few innings to find it, and I'm sure he knew that." More >
A better result: In the seventh inning and with two on and no outs, Jankowski came to the plate and was asked to bunt the runners along. He couldn't and eventually struck out. His final at-bat Wednesday went much better, as he lined a two-run double the other way in the eighth inning for a 4-3 lead.
"Not getting that bunt down wasn't one of my better moments. That's something a first-year player has to do," said Jankowski, a rookie outfielder. "... But you have to keep your confidence up."
Regaining his stroke: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford has stroked two hits in each game this series, lifting his batting average to .256. He extended his career-high RBI total to 80 with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning, and he helped generate San Francisco's unearned ninth-inning run off Kimbrel with a double.
"It's one of those things where guys love him. They are committed to him, they love the way he goes about his business. He's a great teammate to everyone and they want to cover for him." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy on Kimbrel, who suffered his fourth blown save. The Padres have won all four games where he has blown a save.
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The Giants used 10 pitchers Wednesday, including nine relievers to cover the final three innings. Oddly enough, five of those relief pitchers threw four or fewer pitches.
In the third inning, Cashner threw to first baseman Brett Wallace in a pickoff attempt to get Alejandro De Aza out. Originally, first-base umpire Joe West called De Aza safe, but the Padres challenged the call and it turned out in their favor. The overturned call sent De Aza back to the dugout and gave the Giants their second out of the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants:Madison Bumgarner will get the start for the Giants for the finale of the three-game series Thursday at 6:10 p.m. PT. Bumgarner (18-8, 2.84 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in four starts against the Padres this season.
Padres: San Diego will send Ian Kennedy to the mound for Thursday night's game. Kennedy (8-15, 4.29 ERA) will look to redeem himself after his last outing against the Giants on Sept. 12, when he allowed seven earned run in 4 2/3 innings.