SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jeff Samardzija was about as dominant as a pitcher can be, short of throwing a no-hitter or perfect game.
Samardzija allowed just three singles – two that didn’t leave the infield – in pitching his first shutout since 2015, and Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik homered to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.
Samardzija (9-12) struck out five, walked none and faced only two over the minimum.
It was the fourth shutout and ninth complete game for the former Notre Dame wide receiver.
Once Panik hit his two-run shot in the eighth to give the Giants their 3-0 lead, Samardzija knew he’d be going back out for the ninth against a team that pestered him in three previous starts this season.
“It just came down to me going out there and making pitches and not letting two guys get on,” he said. “I wanted to go out there and get some quick innings and then go back out there for the ninth.”
Samardzija frustrated the Padres with his curveball and splitter. “I kind of owed these guys one. They got me the last two times out. It was just one of those things, take a little pride in yourself, going out there and getting after a team that had your number.”
Samardzija threw only 89 pitches in his previous start, when he had a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to Milwaukee. He said he felt fresh going into Monday night, when he threw 102 pitches.
“He really was locked in with everything,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Great focus out there with every pitch. Just a terrific job against a team that’s been tough on him. He bounced back very well tonight. He just threw a beauty.”
Padres manager Andy Green agreed.
“He’s thrown strikes all year. You have to give him credit for that. His numbers aren’t great by his standards, but he’s pounded the strike zone all year long. I think probably the difference for me today was his ability to get ahead with offspeed. He commanded all of his pitches today, it wasn’t just one pitch in the strike zone, it was whatever he wanted to throw, he threw in the strike zone really at any point in time.
“We didn’t do anything to put pressure on him. There were a lot of empty at-bats, but he threw the ball well.”
Crawford homered to right-center off Jhoulys Chacin leading off the fourth, his 12th. Panik hit a two-run shot off the right-field foul pole off Phil Maton with one out in the eighth, his eighth. Crawford was aboard on a single.
Chacin (11-10) had been 3-0 in his first five starts against the Giants this season. He allowed one run and two hits in five innings, struck out three and walked four.
Samardzija induced 14 groundouts, including one by Carlos Asuaje that bounced off his foot to second baseman Panik, who threw to first.
“Kick save and a beaut,” the pitcher said. Samardzija said third baseman Pablo Sandoval compared him to European soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, “so I figure I had to show him my footwork. It was pretty nice, wasn’t it? Funny game. Three months ago that ball probably goes into the bullpen for a triple. That’s why you can’t take this game too seriously. You have to put in your work and care about it and the way it happens, it happens. You’ve got to have fun out there.”
Giants: C Buster Posey sat out the game with a bone bruise in his left thumb and will also sit out Tuesday night, Bochy said. Posey was hurt applying a tag at the plate on Aug. 20 and struggled with it during a weekend series at Arizona. … RHP Johnny Cueto, on the DL with a flexor tendon strain, is scheduled to throw Tuesday or Wednesday and the team will make a call on whether he’ll be activated, Bochy said.
Giants: LHP Matt Moore (4-12, 5.38) is scheduled to start Tuesday night. He’s faced the Padres only once, allowing four runs in six innings and getting a no-decision in a 5-4, 12-inning victory.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (6-8, 4.84) has gone at least six innings in each of his last seven starts.
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