Webb goes distance, Conforto comes through in clutch as Giants top Padres after Snell's gem
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Logan Webb pitched his second complete game this season and pinch-hitter Michael Conforto delivered a two-run single in the eighth inning to lift the San Francisco Giants over the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Monday night in a matchup of teams clinging to slim playoff hopes.
Blake Snell tossed six shutout innings in his latest terrific start for the Padres, lowering his major league-best ERA to 2.25 as the left-hander makes a final push for the NL Cy Young Award.
Webb will probably get some votes, too, especially after what he did against the Padres. The game marked his 24th quality start this season — tops in the majors, according to the Giants. Webb, whose first career complete game was a shutout of Colorado on July 9, also leads the big leagues with 216 innings pitched.
“This is a pretty significant statement game when you’re going up against another Cy Young Award candidate,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said. “He was totally efficient, totally in control. Never lost his delivery, never lost his stuff. There wasn’t a hint of struggle the entire game.”
Webb (11-13) had seven strikeouts and allowed nine hits on 110 pitches for the Giants (78-79), who moved within 4 1/2 games of the final postseason spot in the National League. They have five games remaining.
“To be honest, winning is more important,” Webb said when asked about the Cy Young Award. “If we don’t do that then it’s kind of a waste. That’s my goal. I’m tired of losing. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not fun. We have to make some big changes in here to create that winning culture that we want to show up every single year and try to win the whole thing.”
San Diego (77-80) is 5 1/2 games back of the Diamondbacks and Cubs, who are tied for the last two of three NL wild cards. One more loss by the Padres, or one more win for the Diamondbacks and Cubs, would eliminate San Diego.
After the Padres got runners to second and third with one out in the ninth, Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. fielded Ji Man Choi’s grounder and threw home to get a sliding Juan Soto. Webb then got pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar to ground out to end it.
The Giants couldn’t get much going against Snell, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018 with Tampa Bay, but came through against the Padres’ bullpen.
“It’s kind of hard to go pitch for pitch with (Snell),” Webb said. “He’s going to win the Cy Young. He’s the best pitcher in baseball. It’s always a pleasure watching him.”
Wade began the comeback with a one-out walk against Robert Suarez (4-3) in the eighth. After Marco Luciano doubled and pinch-hitter Joc Pederson was intentionally walked, Choi fielded Patrick Bailey’s grounder to first and threw home for the forceout.
Conforto, signed in the offseason to add some spark to San Francisco’s lineup, then laced a 1-1 fastball down the third-base line to drive in Wade and Luciano as the crowd of 28,559 at Oracle Park roared.
“It was a lightning jolt of energy that we felt in the dugout,” said Webb, who has had fewer than three runs of support in 22 of 33 starts.
Snell gave up four hits and walked two in what might be his last start of the regular season. Set to become a free agent this fall, he pitched with runners on base in every inning. He also had six strikeouts to raise his season total to 233, second-most in the majors behind Atlanta’s Spencer Strider (274).
It also marked the 23rd consecutive game in which Snell has given up three earned runs or fewer, the longest streak in Padres history.
Manny Machado drove in San Diego’s only run with a bloop single in the first. Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Brett Sullivan each had two hits.
Bogaerts opened the game with an infield single against Webb. Tatis then fouled a ball that hit Soto’s right arm while the Padres’ slugger was standing near the on-deck circle. After Soto got checked out by an athletic trainer, Tatis doubled into the left-field corner. Soto grounded out, but Machado blooped an RBI single. Ha-Seong Kim then lined out to left field and the Giants turned it into a double play.
Giants RHP Luke Jackson was placed on the paternity list. RHP Sean Hjelle was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.
Giants rookie LHP Kyle Harrison (1-1, 4.85 ERA) faces Padres RHP Seth Lugo (7-7, 3.79) on Tuesday. Lugo defeated San Francisco with six scoreless innings on Sept. 3.
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