Jackson flirts with no-no as Padres sweep Giants

Jackson flirts with no-no as Padres sweep Giants

SAN DIEGO -- Edwin Jackson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his Padres debut Sunday against the Giants, paving the way for a 5-3 San Diego victory and a three-game series sweep.

"He was outstanding," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Good mix, slider was really good, mixing the curveball later on."

Conor Gillaspie broke up the no-no and the shutout in the top of the seventh inning with a pinch-hit, three-run homer. The Giants managed several runners throughout Jackson's outing thanks to five walks and a pair of San Diego errors, but Gillaspie's 402-foot blast to right field finally got the Giants in the hit column and ended Jackson's day.

"For me he was lights-out today," Green said. "You hate to see it end the way it did, where he was coming out after a home run giving up the one hit. But he gave us an opportunity to win a game and sweep the series. He was exactly what we needed."

• Jackson makes statement in Padres debut

Jackson leaves to an ovation

San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto threw a season-low five innings for just the second time this year and allowed four runs, including solo homers in the fourth from Matt Kemp and Christian Bethancourt. It marked the first time all season that San Francisco lost consecutive games started by the top three members of its rotation -- Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija.

• Cueto bothered by illness, side pain vs. Padres

Each starter allowed a pair of home runs to the Padres in this series.

"It's just a little rough patch," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "It's going to happen from time to time. We know what these guys have been for us the first half of this year."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The 'pen? No problem: The late-game trio of Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer entered Sunday's game with a combined ERA of 1.96 dating back to June 16. They continued that success Sunday after combining for 2 2/3 shutout innings to stave off the Giants and ensure the win for Jackson and the Padres.

Maurer notches the save

"They all were great; they all were still very sharp on the third day of work," Green said, adding that he didn't want to have to go to any of them Sunday. "Brad Hand has one of the most resilient arms I've ever been around, so no issue with him. All three guys, when I checked in with them earlier in the day, they all felt great, ready to go. I think the break refreshed them. Their stuff was very crisp."

Costly fumble: Gillaspie's homer was partially set up by Jackson's fielding error on Gregor Blanco's one-out comebacker. Jackson simply dropped the ball, enabling Blanco to reach base safely. Had Jackson fielded the ball cleanly and made the play, he would have had an easier time escaping the inning with his no-hit bid intact.

"The simple things -- the half a second taking your eye off the ball before you get it all the way in the glove," Jackson said. "It's one of those plays that you sit back and look at it like, 'You know, if I catch that, maybe things go a little differently.' You keep the momentum in your favor. But nevertheless, great team effort. We were able to come back and tack on another run or so and finish a great series."

Blanco reaches on an error

After Ramiro Pena walked, Gillaspie capitalized by pulling a 3-1 fastball into the right-field stands.

"For me, personally, obviously it's a little easier to stay loose when it's warm like that," Gillaspie said, referring to the first-pitch temperature of 78 degrees. "It felt good, obviously, but I wish we could have mustered a few more runs at the end."

Loving the long ball: Kemp and Bethancourt's shots in the fourth gave the Padres a boost in backing Jackson's stellar San Diego debut. With those home runs, the Padres have now homered in a franchise-best 15 straight games. The previous high of 14 games came during the 1998 season from July 14 through July 29.

"[Cueto] got me off-balance [in my first at-bat]," Bethancourt said. "I had to double-tap to get my timing ready. But in the second one I was just looking for a ball over the plate. I was basically not worrying about what he does over there, just be ready for the pitch."

Bethancourt's solo smash

Limp offense: Pena's ninth-inning single was the only hit the Giants produced besides Gillaspie's homer. For the series, they hit a meager .204 (21-for-103), including .125 (3-for-24) with runners in scoring position.

"We've got to reboot and reset," Bochy said. "... We had the right guys up there with a couple of guys on base. We just couldn't get it done."

QUOTABLE
"He was great. Swung the bat, drove in a run, had two hits, on base three times. I think by the end of it he was gassed. He gave us everything he had and was outstanding." -- Green on Jackson

Green on sweeping division rival

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Before having his no-hit bid broken up in the seventh, Jackson was on pace for an eerily similar game to his no-hitter with the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 25, 2010. On that day, he no-hit the Rays while walking eight batters and striking out six on 149 pitches.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Giants avoided a double play when they challenged a second-inning ruling that declared Pena out at first base. The call was overturned after a replay review.

Giants challenge Pena out call

The Padres challenged a force at first base in the top of the third inning after Brandon Belt was called safe on a potential inning-ending double play. After a review, officials determined that the original safe call on the field stands.

Padres challenge Belt safe call

The Giants also sought fan interference on a sixth-inning play in which right fielder Gregor Blanco thought he had a chance to snare a foul fly, but after a review, the call on the field was confirmed.

Giants challenge foul-ball call

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: San Francisco will bask in a scheduled off-day Monday before beginning a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. It'll be the Giants' first series at Boston's Fenway Park since 2007, and it will end their stretch of 29 consecutive games against sub-.500 teams.

Padres: Christian Friedrich starts Monday's first game of a four-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Friedrich matches up against Mike Leake and will attempt to lower his 4.50 ERA at 5:15 p.m PT.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.