Padres sweep, but Giants maintain WC spot

Padres sweep, but Giants maintain WC spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants negated any progress they made with last weekend's sweep at Arizona by dropping all three games to San Diego, concluding with Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Padres at AT&T Park.

Madison Bumgarner (14-9) missed on his second chance in a row to secure his 100th career Major League victory. The left-hander yielded only three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, but he received minimal offensive support. The Giants mustered four hits off Padres starter Luis Perdomo (8-9), as San Diego extended its winning streak against San Francisco to six games after dropping the first nine.

San Francisco could not make up any ground in the National League West against Los Angeles, which began the afternoon leading the Giants by four games in the division standings. The Giants begin a four-game series Thursday against St. Louis, which is competing with them and the New York Mets in the NL Wild Card race.

Panik's RBI single

"I know they know what's at stake," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Referring to the Giants' six consecutive elimination-game victories in the 2012 postseason, Bochy added, "They've played under pressure like no other team."

Bochy on loss at home

No Padre -- and perhaps no player in baseball -- has developed as much as Perdomo this season. The Rule 5 right-hander had never pitched above Class A before the season, but he's clearly comfortable now, as evidenced by the novelty jumbo pink sunglasses he rocked to start his postgame interview.

Perdomo fans Pence

"I've definitely gained a lot of confidence," said Perdomo, who allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings. "There are things that I work on between every start. A lot of that work goes on in the bullpen, and each time out I've been more confident."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rally starter: Luis Sardinas played a role in all three Padres rallies, scoring in the first and sixth and driving in a run in the seventh. He practically created the second run himself. First, the speedy shortstop swiped second. (He was initially ruled out, but replay proved otherwise.) Then, he used his wheels -- and a crafty slide -- to score from second on Alex Dickerson's single to left field. Sardinas finished 3-for-5, and since joining the Padres last month, he is batting .328/.400/.463.

Sardinas' RBI single

"I've always said that the only thing I was missing was having a chance to play every day," Sardinas said. "Not that the chance to play every day is the key -- I think going out there and having confidence in yourself is ultimately the key. But if you have a bad game, if something happens, knowing you're going to be in there tomorrow, I think that definitely helps the process." More >

Sardinas swipes second

Reverting to bad habits: The Giants appeared to have snapped out of their offensive funk last week, when they amassed 28 runs and hit .329 (52-for-158) in the final four games of their 10-game trip. But their woes at the plate returned in this series against the Padres, who held them to five runs and a .216 batting average (21-for-97).

Maurer notches the save

"That's one I didn't see," Bochy said. "I thought we were coming out of it." More >

Give him a Hand: The Padres claimed Brad Hand off waivers from Miami during the season's opening week, and the 26-year-old southpaw has turned out to be quite a find. He entered with the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning Wednesday and promptly struck out a pair to end the frame. In doing so, he joined Cleveland's Andrew Miller as the only lefty relievers with 100 punchouts this season.

"It says a lot about our pro scouts," said Padres manager Andy Green. "They acknowledge, find people that other organizations don't want. They don't think they have value, we give them an opportunity here and watch them take off. [Hand] has been -- if not the most dominant lefty in the game from a lefty-lefty standpoint -- he's been one of the most dominant."

Not too Bummed: San Francisco's ace always hates to lose, but the seven hits he allowed in 6 2/3 innings included an unusual number of ground-ball singles and softly-struck one-hoppers to the outfield.

Bumgarner fans Jay

"That's just tough luck there," said Bumgarner, who allowed San Diego's first three runs. "There's no other way to put it. A few of [the hits] found a hole."

True enough. However, Bumgarner has a 4.41 ERA in his last seven starts, hiking his overall ERA from 2.11 to 2.66.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hand joined Mark Davis (1988) as the only lefties in Padres history to record 100 relief strikeouts in a single season. Four right-handers also accomplished the feat, including Rollie Fingers ('77), Lance McCullers Sr. ('87), Trevor Hoffman ('96 and '97) and Heath Bell (2007).

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: Left-hander Christian Friedrich faces his former club on Friday when the Padres open a three-game set against the Rockies at Coors Field. Friedrich's last start also came against Colorado, and he turned in one of the best outings of his career, tossing seven shutout frames while striking out 10. First pitch is slated for 5:40 p.m. PT.

Giants: Johnny Cueto, who looks primed for a strong finish, will start Thursday's series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are competing with the Giants for one of the Wild Card postseason berths. Game time is 7:15 p.m. Cueto has a 2.56 ERA in his last five starts while limiting opponents to a .219 batting average.

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

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.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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