SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brandon Belt scored from first base when pinch-hitter Hunter Pence’s bloop double to short right field fell between two San Diego Padres players with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 1-0 victory Monday night.
Johnny Cueto (7-1) allowed two hits in his third complete-game win over San Diego this season. The right-hander struck out six and didn’t walk a batter while becoming the first San Francisco pitcher since Jason Schmidt in 2004 to win seven times in his first 10 starts.
Cueto appeared headed for a no-decision before Pence’s game-ending hit.
Belt led off the ninth with a single against Brad Hand (1-1). Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco struck out swinging before Pence lofted a shallow fly. The ball dropped between right fielder Matt Kemp and second baseman Alexi Amarista as they chased in vain.
The Giants improved to 7-0 against the Padres this season.
Cueto was dominant the entire night. He didn’t allow a baserunner until Kemp’s two-out single in the fourth, retired the next 12 batters and struck out pinch-hitter Yangervis Solarte with runners at the corners to end the eighth.
After the Giants stranded two in the eighth, Cueto retired the side in order in the ninth before his teammates won it in the bottom of the inning.
The Padres, coming off a 17-inning loss to the Dodgers that took nearly 6 hours to complete, lost their second straight despite a solid outing from starter Drew Pomeranz.
Pomeranz took a 1.96 ERA into the game and allowed two hits over seven innings but left with his first no-decision of the year. The left-hander, who has lost twice to the Giants this season, had four strikeouts and four walks.
Padres: LHP Keith Hessler was called up from Triple-A El Paso before the game. Hessler was claimed off waivers from Arizona on May 10. . RHP Colin Rea was optioned to El Paso.
Giants: An MRI revealed that Pence has a mild hamstring injury. . RHP Sergio Romo (flexor strain) began a rehab stint in the minors. If all goes well, the plan is for Romo to rejoin the Giants for a four-game series in Atlanta beginning May 30.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-3) is expected to come off the disabled list after recovering from a right hamstring strain and start on Tuesday.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (6-2) will be going after his third win against San Diego this season. Samardzija’s 2.66 ERA is the second-lowest among San Francisco starters.