SAN FRANCISCO -- Sean Burroughs of all people came up with what his teammates consider the hit of San Diego's season.
The first-place Padres were staring at a three-game sweep and a five-game skid when Burroughs pinch hit and stepped in Wednesday against one of the game's most imposing closers. He changed everything.
And this is the guy who got sent down this summer because he couldn't make contact.
With two strikes against him, Burroughs hit a tying two-out, two-run double off Armando Benitez in the ninth inning and Brian Giles lined a tiebreaking single with two outs in the 10th, helping San Diego stop a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
"That's a proud moment," said Burroughs, demoted to Triple-A Portland on July 23 for 5½ weeks to rediscover his batting groove. "If it's the hit of the year, I'm fortunate to be behind it. I'm speechless."
The Padres (72-73) rallied to avoid what could have been a costly three-game sweep and extended their lead over San Francisco to six games in the weak NL West -- which could produce the first division winner in major league history with a losing record.
Rudy Seanez (7-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory, and Trevor Hoffman got his 35th straight save and 38th in 40 chances overall as the Padres won despite stranding 15 runners.
San Diego also got a huge effort from Ramon Hernandez, who batted third and had his first four-hit game of the year.
"It would have been devastating, really," center fielder Dave Roberts said, reflecting on what could have been. "For us to find a way to come up with a team victory ... it's the biggest win of our year, no doubt about it."
Pedro Feliz hit a go-ahead, two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning for the Giants, but Burroughs followed with an even bigger hit.
Then in the 10th, Giles singled against LaTroy Hawkins (2-7) for his third hit of the game and second RBI.
Barry Bonds entered as a pinch-hitter against Akinori Otsuka with two runners aboard in the eighth, borrowing Feliz's bat after breaking his own on a foul ball, then sat down after a called third strike he clearly disagreed with.
"The pitch he struck out on was low," manager Felipe Alou said. "Nobody was going to hit that pitch. Some umpires need to learn the strike zone, too."
It was Feliz who made the Padres pay, lining a double to center moments later. But Benitez couldn't hold the lead and wound up with his fourth blown save in an injury-shortened season.
With Bonds taking most of the day off to rest, Randy Winn splashed a Bonds-like homer into McCovey Cove.
Winn sent a 1-1 pitch from Woody Williams into the water beyond the right-field arcade to tie the game at 1-all in the third. Winn hit his eighth homer since joining the Giants in a July 30 trade with Seattle and his 14th overall this season to match his career high.
He is the seventh Giants player to launch a splash hit -- Bonds has 31 of the club's 39. Michael Tucker also did it this year for San Francisco, with a grand slam April 9 against Colorado.
Winn's shot was the only offense the Giants could muster against Williams, who was on the way to his third straight victory before the bullpen blew it. He allowed five hits, struck out three and walked two in 5 1/3 innings.
San Diego's disappointing play recently prompted manager Bruce Bochy to call a team meeting before Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Giants, who won the series opener 4-3 Monday. The Padres are off Thursday before a three-game series with Washington at home.
"It's a tough one to lose ... especially with what we could have accomplished," Giants lefty Scott Eyre said.
Matt Cain threw six strong innings for San Francisco, but his pitch count went up in a hurry due to six walks. He allowed two runs and three hits in a 107-pitch outing.
Last Friday, the 20-year-old right-hander became the youngest Giants pitcher to throw a complete game since 1960 when he two-hit the Cubs in a 2-1 win.
Bonds opted to rest -- often his practice for day games that follow night games -- after playing the previous two days for his first games of the year after recovering from three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31. The slugger is expected to start Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at SBC Park.
Ray Durham batted cleanup for the first time in 1,542 career starts, going 0-for-3 with two walks.
Padres SS Khalil Greene, still recovering from a broken big toe, didn't start but pinch-hit in the ninth and stayed in for defense. ... There was a one-hour delay for fans entering the ballpark because of a ticket system glitch that affected ticket scanners and sales. ... Padres Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, a Bay Area native, celebrated his 81st birthday. ... The Giants purchased the contract of OF Doug Clark from Triple-A Fresno and designated INF Brian Dallimore for assignment.