Giants beat Padres 9-3, gear up for wild-card game
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Buster Posey and Adam Duvall homered, and the San Francisco Giants geared up for the NL wild-card game by beating the San Diego Padres 9-3 in the regular-season finale Sunday.
The Giants will play at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The winner will face the NL East champion Washington Nationals in a five-game divisional series.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy got just about everything he wanted out of the 162nd game: the regulars tuned up, the bullpen pitched stress-free innings and nobody got injured.
Even starter-turned-reliever Tim Lincecum (12-9) tossed two scoreless innings for the win.
The Giants (88-74) enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak. The Padres (77-85) lost their final three games and finished third in the NL West.
Perhaps the best sign for the Giants heading into the postseason was Posey starting behind the plate - and showing some pop at-bat - after dealing with a nagging back over the last few weeks. The 2012 NL MVP hit a tying two-run shot in the first inning for his 22nd homer this season.
Gregor Blanco drove in a run and Joe Panik hit an RBI single to give San Francisco a 4-2 lead in the second. After San Diego scored again in the third, Duvall added a pinch-hit homer in the fourth to lift the Giants ahead 5-3.
San Francisco scored four more in seventh to put the game out of reach.
Posey, Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval all started after getting a day off Saturday to rest. They were replaced in the middle innings along with most of the other starters.
Giants rookie Chris Heston tossed four innings in his first major league start. He allowed three runs and six hits.
Padres starter Robbie Erlin (4-5) allowed four hits and four runs in 1 2-3 innings.
Cory Spangenberg hit an RBI single and Seth Smith had a sacrifice fly to put the Padres up 2-0 in the first. Yasmani Grandal singled home another run for San Diego in the third.
But everything Sunday was secondary. The only result that really matters for San Francisco is the next one.
The Giants won the World Series in each of their last two postseason trips - in 2010 and 2012 - and many of the team's current players have experience in pressure-packed games. They won six elimination games before sweeping Detroit for their last title, and they'll need a similar effort to put Pittsburgh away.
Giants: OF Michael Morse (strained left side) is swinging lightly but remains doubtful to be activated for the wild-card game.
Padres: Manager Bud Black said nobody on his team is expected to have any offseason procedures. "Medically, we're all doing fine," he said.
Giants: Bochy announced the worst-kept secret in San Francisco's clubhouse: LHP Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA) will start Wednesday at Pittsburgh. Bochy said he felt comfortable with Bumgarner or Jake Peavy on the mound, "but Bum's our guy. The last few years, the job he's doing, I don't think there was any question who you pitch that game."
Padres: Black said he plans to meet with new general manager A.J. Preller in San Diego and is looking forward to being part of the club's rebuilding process this offseason.