By Jonathan Hawthorne and AJ Cassavell
SAN FRANCISCO -- Starting in place of All-Star catcher Buster Posey certainly comes with expectations. Nick Hundley met those -- and then some -- when he looped a single to the left-field wall Saturday afternoon, giving the Giants a 5-4 walk-off win over the Padres in 12 innings.
San Francisco's fifth walk-off win of the season resulted in an enthusiastic infield celebration. It was Hundley's first walk-off hit since joining the organization this season.
"I had to go in the fetal position," Hundley said. "It just didn't stop. They were all over it. It was good. You like those days."
Brandon Belt blooped a single to center field off Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush to begin San Francisco's uprising. Belt was forced out at second on Kelby Tomlinson's sacrifice-bunt attempt, but after a wild pitch moved Tomlinson to second, up came Hundley, who drove an 0-1 curveball to the base of the wall.
"I can tell you this, there were two tired teams out there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "But both clubs kept fighting. It was a great win for us after losing a very tough one last night."
It was just the second win in the past nine games against the Padres at AT&T Park for the Giants, who improved to 10-5 in extra innings. Neither Padres starter Luis Perdomo nor Giants starter Matt Moore earned the decision. Both exited after the sixth inning with the game knotted at 4. Both also had relatively similar outings; Perdomo surrendered eight hits, while Moore allowed seven.
Perdomo was done in by a rocky fourth inning -- though it wasn't entirely his fault. Hunter Pence reached when shortstop Allen Cordoba -- starting in place of the injured Erick Aybar -- booted a routine grounder. After retiring Hundley, Perdomo allowed the next four men to reach base, and three unearned runs would score. The biggest blow was Eduardo Nunez's two-run single, which tied the game. Nunez finished with a game-high three hits.
"I'd love to see [Perdomo] get to the point where he picks up a teammate when he makes an error," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Cordoba misses that ground ball, puts a guy on base, and it's a series of singles in a row before he settles back down. Then he goes out and throws the ball well the rest of the game. That's a big thing in his development. When something goes wrong, trying to right the ship for everybody else."
Offensively for the Padres, Wil Myers homered for the second time in as many games. But the San Diego offense mustered just one hit over the final eight frames, a ninth-inning double by Matt Szczur.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Perdomo's productive triple: In the fourth inning, Perdomo became the the seventh pitcher in Major League history to triple three times in a season. His hit, which took one hop before losing momentum at the right-field wall, scored Szczur and Luis Torrens to give San Diego a three-run cushion.
The hit also made Perdomo a part of San Diego history. Among Padres pitchers, only Perdomo and Tim Lollar have recorded three triples for the club all-time.
"The first swing that he took earlier in the game was pretty unattractive. I think it's something I have to learn from," Moore said. "It's bear down right there. There's no reason not to give him my best stuff."
Yates escapes: With a handful of everyday players out of Saturday's lineup, the Giants had plenty of pinch-hit options. They turned to Brandon Crawford during a rally in the eighth. Crawford blooped a double, which had a hit probability of 29 percent according to Statcast™, to shallow right-center field, moving Hunter Pence to third. But Kirby Yates -- who struck out the side and now has 48 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings for the Padres -- whiffed leadoff hitter Gorkys Hernandez to escape the jam.
"I thought I beat him, thankfully. If he caught it, I would have kept running, right into the Cove."-- Hundley, on his game-winning single
In six games on their road trip, the Padres have needed 30 1/3 innings from their bullpen. That's largely been due to some poor starting pitching, but two extra-innings games haven't helped, either. They're carrying nine relievers and had planned to call up a shortstop before Sunday's game. That may no longer be the case, given the circumstances.
"We've seen a lot of innings out of the bullpen over the last five days, about as many as I've seen," said Green. "We have a long bullpen right now. We've got a lot of guys down there. We just need a good start from [Dinelson] Lamet tomorrow."
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Rookie flamethrower Lamet has struggled recently, largely because he hasn't found the strike zone consistently. After consecutive rough outings, Lamet looks to turn things around in Sunday's series finale against the Giants. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV.
Giants: Giants lefty Ty Blach, with a 2.33 ERA over his past three starts, takes the mound Sunday in the series finale on MLB.TV. Blach said he's focused on keeping the ball down in the zone, helping him turn a corner.