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Pill's big debut helps Giants break out, beat Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Rookies Brett Pill and Eric Surkamp had a night to remember, even as their San Francisco Giants are trying desperately to catch the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pill hit a two-run homer in his first big league at-bat, Surkamp earned his first major league victory and the Giants had to escape a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to beat the San Diego Padres 6-4 on Tuesday night.

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The defending World Series champion Giants pulled within six games of NL West-leading Arizona with 20 to go. The Diamondbacks lost 8-3 at Colorado. By winning the first two of this three-game set, the Giants clinched their first series victory since Aug. 12-14 at Florida.

With Mark DeRosa aboard on a leadoff single in the second, Pill hit an 0-1 pitch from lefty Wade LeBlanc (2-5) that caromed off the balcony of the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner at Petco Park and back onto the field. Padres left fielder Kyle Blanks tossed it into the stands, where a man grabbed it. Padres event operations supervisor Rob Arnold negotiated with the fan to get the ball for Pill.

"Luckily he threw it right to some Giants fans," said Pill, who gave the fan a few signed balls in return for the home run ball.

"It's something you dream about when you're a kid," Pill said. "I've seen him a few times in the minors, that pitcher, and figured he'd try to throw me a changeup and get me to hit into a double play. He left it up a little bit. When I hit it I kind of knew it was gone, but it was probably the fastest I've ran around the bases in a while. It's just a great feeling."

It was the first time a Giants player hit a home run in his first big league plate appearance since Will Clark did so off Houston's Nolan Ryan on April 8, 1986.

Surkamp (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, struck out two and walked one.

"It's fun," Surkamp said. "I'm up here, I'm new, it's awesome."

Said manager Bruce Bochy: "Nice day for those two young players. It's historic, to hit a home run in your first at-bat. It's nice to see those guys come out and do what they did and help us win a ballgame."

With the Giants leading 6-3, Javier Lopez walked Orlando Hudson on four pitches to open the Padres' ninth. Santiago Casilla came on and got two outs before allowing rookie Anthony Rizzo's RBI double off the right-field wall. Casilla hit Cameron Maybin on the right elbow and hit Jason Bartlett on the left hand to load the bases. Bochy turned to Ramon Ramirez, the sixth Giants' reliever, who struck out Jesus Guzman for his fourth save in five chances.

Carlos Beltran had three hits and three RBI for the Giants, who won with three prospects in their starting lineup. Pill's contract was purchased last Wednesday from Triple-A Fresno. Surkamp, called up from Double-A Richmond on Aug. 27, made his second big-league start. Justin Christian started in center field and batted leadoff after his contract was purchased from Fresno on Tuesday. Christian appeared in 24 games with the New York Yankees in 2008.

Pill, who led the Pacific Coast League with 167 hits, started at first base.

Beltran, back after missing Monday's game with food poisoning, hit an RBI single in the third, an RBI double in the fifth and brought in a run with a grounder in the ninth.

San Diego's Nick Hundley hit a solo home run off Surkamp leading off the second. Rookie Andy Parrino got his first big league RBI on a sacrifice fly later that inning, and Kyle Blanks hit a sacrifice fly in the third.

LeBlanc allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out one and walked none.

"Wade got some balls up in the strike zone. He just couldn't get the ball down consistently," manager Bud Black said. "They got the bat head on balls just in front of the plate. Had some hard-hit balls to the left side. Wade wiggled out of some jams, so give him credit for that."

Notes

  • Injured Giants LHP Barry Zito threw a four-inning simulated game. "We'll see how he comes out of this and see if we need him for relief," Bochy said.
  • The Padres recalled RHP Erik Hamren from Triple-A Tucson. RHP Pat Neshek was outrighted to Tucson today. He was designated for assignment on Sept. 1 when the club claimed RHP Jeff Fulchino.
  • Padres RF Chris Denorfia, who came off the DL on Monday, was hit in the head as he dove back into second base on a pickoff attempt in the second. He got up and took third before scoring on Parrino's sac fly. Will Venable pinch-hit for Denorfia in the fifth and stayed in the game in RF.
  • The series will conclude Wednesday afternoon when Giants RHP Matt Cain (11-9, 2.85 ERA) opposes Padres RHP Aaron Harang (12-5, 3.86). Cain is winless in three starts against San Diego this season, going 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Harang has gone 1-2 in his past three starts despite allowing only five earned runs.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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San Francisco's Brett Pill rounds third and heads home after connecting in his first MLB plate appearance.  (Getty Images)
San Francisco's Brett Pill rounds third and heads home after connecting in his first MLB plate appearance. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
San Francisco

B. Pill
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Justin Christian, CF4110001 .250
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5120001 .299
Carlos Beltran, RF4133100 .299
Cody Ross, LF5000004 .235
Mark DeRosa, 3B-1B4110003 .233
Brett Pill, 1B3112001 .333
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH0000100 .221
    Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
Orlando Cabrera, SS4011000 .239
Chris Stewart, C4010002 .196
Eric Surkamp, P2000011 .000
    Steve Edlefsen, P0000000 .000
    Pablo Sandoval, 3B2110000 .297
Totals37611621  
a-was walked intentionally for Affeldt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Justin Christian (1, LeBlanc), Jeff Keppinger (19, LeBlanc), Carlos Beltran (34, LeBlanc), Chris Stewart (7, LeBlanc)
HR - Brett Pill (1, LeBlanc)
SH - Justin Christian (1)
RBI - Carlos Beltran 3 (76), Brett Pill 2 (2), Orlando Cabrera (50)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (21)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Keppinger-Pill
E - Eric Surkamp (1, Throwing)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Eric Surkamp (W,1-0) 5533121 3.27
Steve Edlefsen (H,1) 0.2000110 3.86
Jeremy Affeldt (H,13) 1.1100010 2.64
Sergio Romo (H,20) 1000120 1.56
Javier Lopez0011100 2.70
Santiago Casilla (H,6) 0.2100010 1.28
Ramon Ramirez (S,4) 0.1000010 3.02
HBP - Maybin (by Santiago Casilla), Bartlett (by Santiago Casilla)
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Surkamp 76-46, Steve Edlefsen 15-8, Jeremy Affeldt 23-13, Sergio Romo 23-11, Javier Lopez 4-0, Santiago Casilla 20-11, Ramon Ramirez 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Surkamp 6-6, Steve Edlefsen 1-0, Jeremy Affeldt 3-0
Batters Faced - Eric Surkamp 20, Steve Edlefsen 3, Jeremy Affeldt 5, Sergio Romo 4, Javier Lopez 1, Santiago Casilla 5, Ramon Ramirez 1
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Cameron Maybin, CF4000012 .272
Jason Bartlett, SS3110110 .250
Jesus Guzman, 1B5000014 .327
Kyle Blanks, LF1001201 .237
Nick Hundley, C4111022 .275
Chris Denorfia, RF2120000 .270
   a- Will Venable, PH-RF1000001 .253
   b- Orlando Hudson, PH0100100 .246
James Darnell, 3B3000002 .174
   c- Jeremy Hermida, PH1000011 .138
Andy Parrino, 2B3011011 .235
Wade LeBlanc, P1010000 .286
   d- Aaron Cunningham, PH1000000 .155
    Anthony Bass, P0000000 .000
   e- Luis Martinez, PH1000011 .233
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
    Josh Spence, P0000000 .000
    Erik Hamren, P0000000 .000
   f- Anthony Rizzo, PH1011000 .147
Totals3147448  
a-grounded out for Denorfia in the 6th
b-walked for Venable in the 9th
c-struck out for Darnell in the 9th
d-grounded out for LeBlanc in the 5th
e-struck out for Bass in the 7th
f-doubled for Hamren in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Bartlett (19, Surkamp), Chris Denorfia (12, Surkamp), Anthony Rizzo (8, Casilla)
HR - Nick Hundley (7, Surkamp)
SF - Kyle Blanks (2), Andy Parrino (1)
RBI - Kyle Blanks (22), Nick Hundley (24), Andy Parrino (1), Anthony Rizzo (7)
2-OUT RBI - Anthony Rizzo (4)
SB - Kyle Blanks (2, 2nd base off Affeldt/Stewart)
Team LOB - 8
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wade LeBlanc (L,2-5) 5844011 5.33
Anthony Bass 2000000 1.91
Luke Gregerson 1111200 3.04
Josh Spence0111000 2.25
Erik Hamren 1100000 2.53
IBB - Fontenot by Luke Gregerson
Pitches-Strikes - Wade LeBlanc 84-57, Anthony Bass 22-14, Luke Gregerson 16-7, Josh Spence 2-2, Erik Hamren 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade LeBlanc 4-10, Anthony Bass 4-2, Luke Gregerson 2-1, Erik Hamren 2-1
Batters Faced - Wade LeBlanc 23, Anthony Bass 6, Luke Gregerson 6, Josh Spence 1, Erik Hamren 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21866
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Mike Everitt