Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Blanco’s 2-run triple in 7th helps Giants win, 4-2

Gregor Blanco, Yasmani Grandal

San Francisco Giants' Gregor Blanco, right, hits a two-RBI triple off San Diego Padres relief pitcher Luke Gregerson as Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, looks on during the seventh inning of their baseball game on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — Gregor Blanco has learned to think like a run producer.

Normally a leadoff hitter, Blanco has been used in the middle of the order more often. When he comes up with runners on, he has the mindset to drive in runs rather than just trying to get on base.

Blanco had a pinch hit, two-run triple in the seventh inning, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

“When they want me batting sixth or seventh, it means they want me to drive in runs,” Blanco said. “So when I came up to hit I told myself I had better drive these people in.”

With a big part of its offense on the disabled list, the Giants have turned to players like Blanco, a career .383 hitter with runners in scoring position, to pick up the slack.

“We’re getting good games from a lot of guys,” Giants catcher Buster Posey said.

Brandon Belt and Marco Scutaro also drove in runs as the Giants won their second straight following a three-game slide. Scutaro and Hunter Pence each had two hits.

“Gregor has played well all season,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He comes through in the clutch, has speed and is a tremendous defender. He’s just getting better and better.”

Will Venable and Jesus Guzman each hit home runs for the Padres, who have lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak.

“Guzzie is a guy who is seeing the ball well and he’s got the strength to hit it out of the park,” Padres manager Bud Black said.

Madison Bumgarner (7-4) won his third straight start after allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings. He walked four and struck out eight.

Padres starter Eric Stults gave up two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

“Stults pitched great,” Black said. “It was a well-pitched game by both guys. They have a good pitching staff and we feel ours is rounding into form.”

Luke Gregerson (4-3) did not retire a batter, giving up two runs and four hits. He took over for Stults after Tony Abreu singled with one out in the seventh.

Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez also singled ahead of Blanco’s triple, which one-hopped the fence in right-center field.

“I wanted to be aggressive,” Blanco said. “I was looking for location and wanted to put a good swing on it.”

Scutaro followed with an RBI single and Posey singled before Tyson Ross came on to strike out Pence and Joaquin Arias. He also struck out the side in the eighth.

Jake Dunning pitched the eighth and Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances.

The benches cleared briefly in the second inning when Guzman took a few steps toward the mound after a pitch from Bumgarner sailed behind his back.

“I was mad because it was just too obvious to me,” Guzman said. “It’s OK. I will forget about that moment. I play for my team and I play to win. We’ll just play and see what happens.”

Posey said it was nothing more than missed location.

“We’re trying to get inside on a guy who has hurt us out before,” he said. “That’s all there was to it.”

Venable hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot leading off the third to put the Padres ahead.

The Giants tied it with a run in the fourth. Belt’s looping fly ball down the left field line fell just out of the reach of the charging Kyle Blanks, allowing Pence to score from third.

Guzman led off the seventh with his third home run of the season and second in two games. He’s a .304 career hitter against left-handers and .429 (12 for 28) against Bumgarner.

Guzman, who made his major league debut with the Giants against the Padres, has hit four home runs in San Francisco, second only to eight in San Diego. He has no more than one in any other ballpark.

NOTES: The Padres put INF Everth Cabrera on the DL with a left hamstring injury and recalled OF Jaff Decker from Triple-A Tucson. … San Diego OF Carlos Quentin was not in the starting lineup for the fifth straight game. … Guzman hit home runs in consecutive games for the first time in his career. … Stults has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his last seven starts after doing so three times in his first eight. … RHP Jason Marquis (9-2, 3.63) goes for the Padres when they open a four-game series at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. Marquis is working on an eight-game winning streak that dates to April 28. … RHP Chad Gaudin (2-1, 2.83) makes his fourth start of the season for the Giants Thursday, when the Miami Marlins visit to open a four-game series. … Giants INF Brandon Crawford will likely miss two games as a result of swelling in two fingers on his right hand. … OF Angel Pagan is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with San Jose on Thursday. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan could return as soon as this weekend. … San Francisco INF Pablo Sandoval will join San Jose on a rehab assignment on Saturday and could join the Giants in Los Angeles on Monday night. … The Giants, with 41,866 in attendance, recorded their 200th consecutive sellout.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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