SAN DIEGO (AP) – Some relievers get nervous when they enter with the bases full. Craig Stammen actually enjoys it.
Stammen wiggled out of a major jam in the fifth inning Wednesday night and the San Diego Padres got a home run from starting pitcher Travis Wood on their way to a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
“I think it’s a privilege to come in with the bases loaded,” Stammen said. “That’s how I look at it. I’m a strike-thrower and I just try to throw strikes.”
Trailing 1-0, the Giants loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Stammen (2-2) replaced a fading Wood and prevented San Francisco from scoring.
“He’s done it time and time again,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
Stammen struck out Hunter Pence and then retired Nick Hundley on a grounder.
“I’ve faced Hunter a lot so I think he thought I was going to throw him some sliders and I was just kind of trying to read his approach by the swings he was taking,” Stammen said. “I was just trying to keep it down in the zone.”
After the Giants’ uprising fizzled against Stammen, they were down and out.
“He comes in with runners on base all year and manages to work out of 90 percent of those situations,” Green said. “It’s great to have a weapon like that down there.”
Wood hit a solo shot in the third and Jose Pirela added one of his own in the sixth as the Padres defeated the Giants for the ninth time in 12 games.
After Pirela’s homer, reliever Kyle Crick’s wild pitch scored Wil Myers, putting the Padres up 3-0. Austin Hedges’ RBI single made it 4-0.
Wood’s pitch count reached 97 through 4 1/3 innings and he was pulled. With five Giants reaching base in the first two-plus innings, Wood was saved by two double plays but wasn’t able to extend his outing. He was charged with six hits and four walks with one strikeout.
Stammen, the first of four San Diego relievers, worked 1 2/3 clean innings for the win. Brad Hand got four outs for his 14th save as the bullpen set down 14 of 16 batters.
Giants lefty Ty Blach (8-11) was decent, considering he had lost his last three starts while pitching to an 8.82 ERA. But once again San Francisco’s tepid offense was unable to reward a pitcher. Blach went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits.
“I just left a couple of changeups just enough up that they were able to leverage,” Blach said. “But for the most part I felt pretty crisp.”
San Francisco entered hitting .130 (3 for 23) with runners in scoring position over the last five games. Through five innings, the Giants stranded eight runners.
“What’s hurting us is we are not doing the little things; it’s getting guys over,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’re just not getting good at-bats with runs in scoring position and that hurt us tonight.”
Wood flexing his muscles for a 1-0 Padres lead was a familiar sight for the Giants. The pitcher smacked Blach’s 79 mph changeup into the left-field seats for his first home run since last year’s NLDS Game 2 drive against San Francisco when he was with the Chicago Cubs.
Wood’s 11th career homer was the first hit allowed by Blach, although he had walked two.
Giants: C Buster Posey (sprained left thumb) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. Bochy said he anticipates Posey starting Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Padres: INF Erick Aybar (bruised left foot) was sent out to play in the Arizona Fall League and could rejoin the club as early as Friday.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-6, 2.85 ERA) makes his 10th start since returning July 15 from a left shoulder injury as the Giants begin a four-game homestand against the Cardinals. Since coming off the disabled list, Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 2.78 ERA.
Padres: RHP Dinelson Lamet (7-5, 4.60) draws the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time on Friday to begin a four-game series. Lamet has won four of his last seven starts, pitching to a 2.63 ERA.
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