The Padres have found a workaround for their impotent offense: their pitching staff. And we're not just talking about the starting rotation.
It's high time the bullpen boys started getting a little bit of credit for the job they are doing, too. The Padres 'pen has the 3rd-best ERA in Major League Baseball. It lived up to expectations in Saturday night's 3-1 win over the Giants at Petco Park.
Of course, we can't just gloss over the fact Eric Stults was also fantastic. In what's becoming a trend, Stults made his best start of the year against the Giants. Six innings of 1-run ball for the lefty. But once again, he was in a tight game. Due to the Padres run-scoring woes.
Yonder Alonso drove in a run with a single and Everth Cabrera brought home another with a triple, but that was it for Stults, who left with a 2-1 lead. No problem for the relief corps.
Ramona High alum Nick Vincent got the 7th inning, and he got greedy. That's what he calls it when he has a chance to strike out the side, which is exactly what he did. Vincent plowed through Buster Posey, Michael Morse, and Pablo Sandoval in his one inning.
The 8th belonged to Dale Thayer, who only needed 10 pitches, nine of them strikes, to get out with no damage done. In the bottom half, the Padres got one more run on a beautiful suicide squeeze. Will Venable broke for 3rd base and Chris Denorfia put down a beautiful bunt to let the run score. It was nice to have a 3-1 lead, but it was not necessary.
Closer Huston Street was unavailable after a recent high workload, to the Padres just went to their "other" closer. Joaquin Benoit took over the job in Detroit in 2013 and helped the Tigers reach the playoffs. He picked up right where he left off on Saturday night, working a perfect 9th to get his first save as a Padre.
Friars win 3-1, winning the series, securing a winning homestand, and getting back to the .500 mark at 9-9. They go for the sweep on Sunday with Robbie Erlin taking on Tim Lincecum.