SAN FRANCISCO -- Fred Lewis estimates he hit a bucket of balls in the batting cage while sitting out the first nine innings. All that work paid off in the 10th for the San Francisco Giants.
Lewis hit a two-run, game-tying triple off Trevor Hoffman for his first successful pinch hit of the season and scored the winning run on Jose Castillo's infield single as the Giants avoided a sweep by beating the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday.
"I was just happy to get the first hit under my belt coming off the bench," said Lewis, who had been 0-for-8 with four strikeouts as a pinch-hitter. "I haven't had one of these. I was hoping for a walkoff. It didn't happen that way.
San Diego had taken a 3-1 lead when Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the top half of the inning against Alex Hinshaw (1-0) and appeared on its way to its season-high fourth straight win.
But Hoffman (0-4) was unable to hold the lead, blowing his third save of the season and first since April 23. Ray Durham and Brian Horwitz opened the 10th with singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Vizquel.
Lewis, who got the day off because San Diego started a lefty, then hit a drive high off the brick wall in right-center field to score both runners and tie the score.
"I was hitting off the tee for nine innings," he said. "Coming from playing and then having a day off it's very hard to stay on the bench just cold because you never know when your time will come up."
Hoffman intentionally walked Randy Winn and ran the count full to Castillo. With the infield playing for a double play, Winn broke on the pitch and Castillo hit a grounder to shortstop Edgar Gonzalez.
Gonzalez had no chance to turn two and no play at home as he just held the ball to give Castillo the game-winning single that stopped San Francisco's seven-game home losing streak.
"It had to be a split-second decision," Gonzalez said. "It's either I commit to going home or I commit to the double play, and I committed to the double play. By the time I got it he was safe at second. If I would have committed home I might have had a better play but my decision would have to be split-second so I made the other decision.
"I should have maybe made an adjustment and said, 'OK, he's going, boom, go home.' But it's something I didn't think about. I still thought about the double play."
The Giants lost the first two games of this series and were on their longest home skid since moving into this waterfront park in 2000. But with ace Tim Lincecum on the mound they were confident they could end the skid.
Lincecum is 5-0 in seven starts following Giants losses, with San Francisco winning the other two games as well, including this one. Lincecum pitched well enough to win Sunday, taking a shutout into the eighth inning but ended up with a no-decision because Randy Wolf was almost as tough, allowing only a solo homer in the sixth to Aaron Rowand in six innings of work.
Lincecum was barely threatened in his first seven innings, allowing only one runner to reach second base in that span. But he ran into a trouble in the eighth when Jody Gerut led off with a single and Tadahito Iguchi walked to open the frame.
Manager Bruce Bochy then brought in left-hander Jack Taschner to face San Diego's two toughest lefty hitters. Taschner responded by striking out Brian Giles, but he intentionally walked Gonzalez following a double steal.
Tyler Walker came in with the bases loaded and walked Kevin Kouzmanoff to tie the game. The Padres were unable to take the lead because Michael Barrett hit into an inning-ending double play.
Lincecum allowed one run and four hits, but struck out only two in seven-plus innings, lowering his ERA to 2.23, second best in the National League.
"He probably didn't have quite his best stuff," Bochy said. "He didn't get his normal strikeouts, but he threw strikes and pitched effectively and did a great job."