For four innings on Tuesday night, Tyson Ross looked like a guy about to pitch a no-hitter.
He was making the entire Giants lineup look foolish. A calm breeze started to pass through Petco Park thanks to all the whiffs by flailing batters with the words San Francisco emblazoned on their jersey.
Ross struck out the first four Giants he faced and 8 of the first 9 outs recorded by the visitors were strikeouts.
Ross finished with 11 K’s in 6 innings of work. He also collected his 200th strikeout of the season. That means Ross and James Shields are the 1st pair of Padres to fan at least 200 batters in the same year.
And then in the bottom of the 4th inning, the rhythm of the game changed. There was a stoppage in play when Justin Upton tried to steal 2nd base and was called out.
Replays implied that Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford missed applying the tag on Upton as he slid towards the bag, but despite a review, the call stood to the disbelief of the Padres fans in attendance.
With the game still scoreless, San Francisco catcher Trevor Brown picked the 5th inning to earn his first major league hit. His RBI double helped the Giants take the lead after a single by Marlon Byrd ended Ross’s bid for a no-no.
Ross allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings. In all the Giants struck out 16 times and still won.
The difference in the game was Angel Pagan's two run homer in the 7th inning off struggling reliever Kevin Quackenbush.
The homer barely cleared Matt Kemp's glove as it bounced off the top of the right-field wall to give San Francisco the brief 4-1 advantage.
Only 3 Padres had hits on Tuesday. Yangervis Solarte, Cory Spangenberg and pinch hitter Brett Wallace provided two hits apiece but that was the extent of the entire offense.
Spangenberg and Wallace each launched a solo shot to help the cause but the Giants hung on and kept their slim chances of making the wild card alive for the time being.
The Pirates and Cubs enter Wednesday on the verge of clinched playoff berths this week.
Pittsburgh can clinch a spot with a win Wednesday or one Giants loss.
The Cubs are two games behind the Pirates for the second wild card spot.
San Diego’s final homestand of the season continues Wednesday when former Padres ace Jake Peavy opposes current Friars pitcher Andrew Cashner.