Panda walks off as SF wraps '17 on high note

Panda walks off as SF wraps '17 on high note

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval's journey back to the Giants' organization wasn't easy by any stretch. But the third baseman sent the 2017 season off in dramatic fashion on Sunday, launching a walk-off home run to lift the Giants to a victory in the season finale over the Padres, 5-4.

"It brought back good memories when he hit that ball, I'm not going to lie," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Sandoval had one objective in the at-bat -- a home run to end the year.

Bochy talks Sandoval's walk-off

"Rounding the bases, I wanted to cry," Sandoval said. "I don't know what's going on with me next year, but I just focus to work during the offseason and to come back stronger and do everything I can. … Ending [the year] that way was special."

Sandoval's solo shot, his ninth homer of the season and fifth since joining the Giants in August, traveled 426 feet, according to Statcast™, off Padres reliever Phil Maton. The player they call "Panda" picked up Giants starter Johnny Cueto, who took a no-decision after allowing a season-high 12 hits in five innings.

Cueto leaves the bases loaded

"They just looked determined to win the ballgame," Bochy said of his team, which overcame a 4-1 deficit. "We got down early against a team that's been tough on us this year. But they were resilient. They battled back. … They found a way."

Padres starter Luis Perdomo lasted seven innings while allowing four runs. Travis Jankowski went 3-for-4 and Hunter Renfroe finished 2-for-4 with a homer for San Diego, which finished 71-91 and will pick seventh in next June's Draft. Renfroe, who spent a month in the Minors after a midseason slump, finished the year with 26 homers -- a franchise record for a rookie.

Renfroe's 26th dinger

"Good to see him square up Johnny Cueto twice today," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Steps in the right direction. There's more steps for him to take. He knows he's a better hitter against righties than he showed this year. He's going to take it as a personal mission this offseason to take steps forward."

San Francisco, having already avoided 100 losses, finished 64-98. Though they won, they matched the Tigers for the worst record in the Majors. But Detroit owns the tiebreaker for next year's Draft, so San Francisco will have the No. 2 overall pick.

Crawford's RBI double

Tripling into history: The Padres' final run of 2017 came in a fitting way. Perdomo tripled leading off the fourth, and Jankowski brought him home with a single. Perdomo's triple, his fourth of the season, was historic in two ways. The right-hander's four this season are the most by a pitcher since Robin Roberts in 1955. One of Roberts' triples came as a pinch-hitter, though, making Perdomo the first player to hit four from the pitcher's spot since Bob Feller in '41. Perdomo's home-to-third time, 11.52 seconds, was the fastest such mark by a pitcher since Statcast™ debuted in '15.

Statcast: Perdomo's fourth 3B

"Right when I hit it, I was thinking about [a triple], because I know I have good speed," Perdomo said. "Every time I hit the ball, I'm trying to go hard about the box."

Jankowski drives in Perdomo

Pence pulling one more in: Known across the Majors for his effort, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence delivered once again in Game 162. Pence made a tremendous diving catch to end the Padres' half of the seventh, muting a threat. But the 34-year-old, who has missed time this month with lower back spasms, walked off the field gingerly and was replaced by Gorkys Hernandez. More >

Pence robs Renfroe in the 7th

"We have some work to do, there's no sugarcoating this. You lose 98 games, we have some things to fix. Forget the injuries, whatever. I think you look at the numbers on both sides, we have to get better -- especially in our division. You look at the years L.A. had, Arizona and Colorado. We've got a lot of work to do. We'll be relentless with this work to get back on track." -- Bochy, on the upcoming offseason

Green on season-finale loss

The Giants unsuccessfully challenged Jankowski's ninth-inning steal of second base. A replay review determined the call stands.

Giants lose challenge call

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for based in the Bay Area who covered the Giants on Sunday.

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

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