AT&T PARK — Rookie center fielder Juan Perez has become the new fan favorite. This time he would not be denied.
Perez hit the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth as the Giants come back to beat the Padres 5-4, ending a three game losing streak.
Giants center fielder Juan Perez
Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay
“It feels great. Anytime you can get the base hit to win the game, it feels amazing to me and our team, the fans, everybody. It’s like a little revenge from yesterday getting the base hit today.”
Twenty-four hours earlier, Perez hit a drive to center field only to be robbed by Will Venable with a highlight reel catch that was one of the best this season.
This time, Perez had the defensive gem as he threw out Mark Kotsay at the plate in the seventh inning.
Perez is batting .421 (8-for-19) with three RBI and leads the team with four outfield assists. Manager Bruce Bochy says Perez has been a big lift to the long list of players on the disabled list:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
Video: CSN Bay Area
“He made a throw I didn’t think had a chance and what a great throw, saved the game for us, won the game for us. You’re happy for him. He’s come up and really been a shot in the arm for us. He’s a talented player, he can run, throw, and hit and it’s something we need right now. He’s a guy that’s only going to get better too.”
Chase Headley said after the series opener that the Padres and Giants were two evenly matched teams. Padres manager Bud Black echoed those sentiments following the loss, ending San Diego’s seven-game win streak:
“I think it shows our guys can play with good teams. Our guys have proven that even though we’re a club that doesn’t get a lot of acclaim nationally, that our guys can play and we’re playing well. It was a good game again tonight, we just fell a little short.”
The Giants got started with an RBI single by Buster Posey in the first inning, plating Gregor Blanco. In the fourth, Brandon Belt and Nick Noonan singled. With runners on the corners, Joaquin Arias grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Belt.
Blanco’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the seventh briefly gave the Giants a one-run cushion.
But it was short lived as Jeremy Affeldt coughed up a two-run homer to former Giant Jesus Guzman in the top of the eighth.
In the Giants’ half of the eighth, Posey singled and pinch-runner Andres Torres scored on a booming double by Belt high off the arcade wall in deep right center. Perez singled to right field bringing home Belt.
Thanks to Perez’s hit, the Giants were able to give the ball to Sergio Romo who closed it out for his 17th save.
It’s been an up and down season for Matt Cain after he authored his perfect game a year ago. But Cain delivered his third straight quality start, lowering his ERA to 4.55.
Logan Forsythe hit a leadoff single to start the game before Cain proceeded to retire 15 in a row.
In the 6th inning, Nick Hundley put San Diego on the board with a long home run to left field. One out later it was Forsythe hitting a blast to left center to tie the game. Monday night’s hero Max Venable doubled to left over the head of Gregor Blanco before Kyle Blanks flied out to the left field warning track to end the inning.
Cain said Tuesday night was a much-needed win:
Giants pitcher Matt Cain
Video: CSN Bay Area
“It definitely was, for last night to have a lead and then not win, we’re not used to doing that a lot. A lot of times when we have leads we finish them off. And it looked that way tonight and then the guys stayed with it and I think that shows a lot about what the guys have and I’ve said that before.”
Marco Scutaro made his return to the lineup with a splint after suffering from “mallet” finger on his pinkie. Scutaro finished with two infield hits.
But Brandon Crawford sprained his index and middle finger in his right hand after he was caught stealing on his slide into second base. Crawford will likely have Wednesday off and be cleared to play Thursday’s game against Miami.
The ten strikeouts by Cain were the most since he struck out 14 in his perfect game on June 13, 2012. It’s also the 11th career double-digit strikeout game for Cain. … Posey is 13-for-26 with five doubles and seven RBI. … Arias has a career high nine game hit streak. … The Giants signed shortstop Christian Arroyo, their 18-year old first round pick (25th overall). Arroyo hit .524 with 42 runs scored, 13 doubles, 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 30 games during his senior year for Hernando High School in Brooksville, Florida. The Giants have also agreed to terms with 19 other players from the 2013 Draft, including nine of their top 11 selections.