Ryan Vogelsong’s Sunday afternoon began with a struggle and it never got better.
Padres leadoff man Everth Cabrera worked the Giants pitcher for 13 pitches, all of them fastballs, in the bottom of the first. Cabrera struck out, but neither Vogelsong nor San Francisco recovered. The Padres scored three runs in the first inning, starting them on their way to a 7-1 victory that dropped the Giants into second place in the National League West, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Eyeing a three-game sweep, Giants fans filled several sections of Petco Park, where San Francisco had scored 18 runs to claim the series’ first two games.
The Padres did the heavy hitting this time, though. They knocked out Vogeslong (10-7) in the fourth inning and scored three runs in the fifth against reliever Jose Mijares. San Diego had 16 hits in all. The Giants scored only an unearned run off Clayton Richard (10-12) in eight innings.
Padres players congratulated Cabrera when he returned to the dugout after his long at-bat in the first. Although Vogelsong said the 13-pitch at-bat had “zero” to do with his rough start, Alonso said Vogelsong appeared frustrated as the pitches mounted. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the toll may have led to San Diego’s early outburst.
“At-bats like that are great at-bats for a club, particularly a leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “It’s probably going to catch up with you.”
For the second game in a row, hits were easy to come by against Vogelsong. The Padres had eight hits in the three-plus innings. In his previous outing, Vogelsong lasted only 2²⁄³ innings and gave up nine hits and eight runs to Washington.
A Vogelsong fastball that plunked Carlos Quentin in the third created some drama. Quentin glared at the pitcher before heading to first base.
“Every time you hit a guy in this game, they think you did it on purpose,” Vogelsong said. “It’s freaking tired.”
An inning later, Richard hit Giants first baseman Brandon Belt with a fastball, and plate umpire Brian O’Nora warned both teams that the next plunking could result in an ejection.
Bochy said he was “sure” that Richard hit Belt on purpose.
“No big deal,” he said. “You’re just hoping the next guy makes him pay for it.”
Hunter Pence’s sacrifice fly brought in Buster Posey for the Giants’ only run, making it 3-1 in the second.