Padres prevent Giants from gaining in Wild Card

Padres prevent Giants from gaining in Wild Card

SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Clemens turned in his best start as a Padre when he was feeling his worst.

The flu-ridden right-hander channeled his inner Michael Jordan -- at least in the eyes of his manager -- and tossed five shutout frames en route to a 4-0 Padres victory at AT&T Park, snapping the Giants' three-game winning streak.

"He was actually throwing up between innings a few times and fighting through it," said Padres skipper Andy Green. "After getting through five, he was done. There was nothing left to give. He was outstanding. I guess it was the Michael Jordan flu game for him."

Asked how he felt after the outing, Clemens was brief, saying only, "Fine ... a little bit," but his weary face told the story.

The Padres, who lost nine straight against the Giants to begin the season, have now won four consecutive games against the club. The loss dropped San Francisco to four games behind the Dodgers in the National League West. However, the Giants remained 1 1/2 games in front of the Mets and two games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card standings.

Yangervis Solarte helped Clemens' cause with an RBI single in the fourth and an RBI groundout in the fifth, before former Giants catcher Hector Sanchez provided a comfortable cushion for the Padres bullpen with a two-run shot into the right-field arcade in the sixth.

Solarte's RBI fielder's choice

Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija cruised through the first three innings. However, he labored through the latter half of his start and exited the game after allowing more than three runs for the first time since Aug. 5.

"I was happy with the way it started," said Samardzija. "Obviously that two-run homer put a sour taste in my mouth with the way things were going. I wanted to come out and throw up some zeros and give us a chance to win the game. Unfortunately they scraped a few across that might've been the difference."

Homecoming homer: In five seasons with the Giants, Sanchez hit only two big flies at AT&T Park. But in his first start back at his old stomping grounds, the veteran backstop jumped all over Samardzija's hanging slider and deposited it just over the right-field wall. At 329 feet, according to Statcast™, it marked the shortest home run by a Padres hitter this season. He finished the night 3-for-4.

"That was crazy," Sanchez said. "I never expected that ball to go out, especially when the ball is not flying today. I guess I put a good swing on it, and lucky for me, the ball went out." More >

Sanchez's two-run homer to right

Slowing the pace: Clemens worked slower than usual on the hill, crouching behind the mound on a couple of occasions. After punching out Angel Pagan with a fastball at the knees -- for a questionable strike-three call -- Clemens' night was done.

"Every inning that went by, we weren't quite sure what we were going to get from him, as far as if he was going to be able to go out again," said Green. "I kind of just stayed away from him -- for multiple reasons."

Clemens ends his night with a K

Sardinas scampers for a run: The Padres' first hit of the night came off the bat of Luis Sardinas, leading off the top of the fourth inning. He sent a sinking liner toward Pagan, who dove for it and missed, allowing the ball to roll to the left-field wall. Sardinas, who finished 2-for-4 on the day, promptly scored on Solarte's bouncer up the middle.

Solarte's single plates Sardinas

Firing a dart: After Solarte hit an RBI groundout in the fifth, the Padres first baseman tested Giants catcher Buster Posey by taking off for second with two outs. But Posey threw a strike to Brandon Crawford to end the inning and the Padres' rally. Posey caught two of three Padres baserunners stealing.

Posey's great play in the 5th

The Padres' starting lineup Monday night featured five Venezuelan-born players -- including Sanchez, Sardinas, Solarte, Oswaldo Arcia and Alexi Amarista. It set a franchise record and tied a Major League record, last set by the D-backs on July 27, 2014. More >

"We hit the balls hard; we just missed a couple. Really, some hard-hit balls, couldn't get anything to fall in, and when we had guys on base we couldn't get a hit. We just couldn't get that big hit to get us rolling." -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy

Padres: The Friars send Clayton Richard to the hill Tuesday for the middle game of their three-game set in San Francisco. First pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m. PT. Richard has been brilliant of late, having posted the best ground-ball rate in baseball since joining the Padres' rotation in mid-August. He's allowed just three earned runs over his five starts.

Giants: Albert Suarez, who will take the mound Tuesday, is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in nine starts this season. The rookie has faced the Padres once this year, pitching 1 2/ 3 scoreless innings of relief on July 16.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Justin Wise is a reporter for based in the Bay Area.

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