The San Francisco Giants maintained their two game lead over the San Diego Padres thanks to solid pitching from Tim Lincecum and a key 3-run home run from Pat “The Bat” Burrell. Due to the Padres win, the Giants cannot clinch the NL West until Friday at the earliest, leaving the Padres alive for a couple more days at least.
Tim Lincecum gave up a lead-off home run to Stephen Drew and walked two batters with one out in the first inning. He gave up one base runner in each subsequent inning but was able to limit the damage, holding the Diamondbacks to that single run on six hits and four walks.
Lincecum received all the run support he would need in the fourth inning. Aubrey Huff singled to start the inning and then Buster Posey walked to put men on first and second. Pat Burrell then hit a 390 foot bomb to left field giving the Giants a 3-1 lead.
The Giants managed four other base runners the entire game, but it didn’t matter as Lincecum was solid and the Giants bullpen contained the Diamondbacks in the eighth and ninth innings. Brian Wilson did what he could to give Giants fans a scare, putting men on the corners with one out. However he struck out Kelly Johnson and forced a fielder’s choice from Chris Young to lock down the save.
The Padres shut down the Cubs 3-0 behind another strong outing from returning starter Chris Young. Young has missed much of the season with injury issues and pitched quite well in his recent return. However, barring the Padres shortening their rotation, the only way the Giants would see Young would be in relief or a potential one-game playoff (finger crossed THAT doesn’t happen).
The Atlanta Braves defeated the Florida Marlins 5-1 to remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Padres in the wild card. The Braves have the day off while the Padres and Giants have an extra game to play. The Padres could cut the lead to 1 game in the wild card, but given the three game series this weekend, it might be NL West or bust for the Giants and Padres.