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Giant pounded by Padres, season-high 7 1/2 games out of playoff race

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SAN DIEGO — The San Francisco Giants’ three-day mission at Petco Park was to prove they could keep up with the revamped San Diego Padres, not just by playing well enough to compete on the field but by creeping closer in the standings.

Mission not accomplished.

When the series ended with Wednesday’s 13-7 crushing loss, the fading Giants found themsleves 7 1/2 games back of the Padres, who hold possession of the National League’s final wild-card spot.

That’s the furthest behind the Giants have been in the playoff race, if indeed they still qualify as part of this playoff race. They were looking to win two of three here or, in a perfect world, pull off an unlikely sweep, which would have left them 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.

Instead, it was simply more of what Giants fans have witnessed much of the season. Relievers struggling to get outs, defenders struggling to make plays.

The Giants have lost 14 of 20 since the All-Star break, and that two-game sweep in Oakland and three wins in four games over the Cubs have been the rare exceptions in their second-half meltdown. When the competition involves the Dodgers or Padres, the class of the NL West, the Giants can’t keep up.

Starter Jakob Junis failed to survive the third inning. Relievers Alex Young, Yunior Marte and Jarlin Garcia took turns getting knocked around. And Brandon Belt and J.D. Davis displayed defensive deficiencies. It was too much for an offense that struck for a pair of three-run rallies to overcome.

The Giants blew leads of 4-0 and 7-6, and the game was decided when they gave up seven runs in the sixth, all with two outs. Brandon Drury hit a three-run homer, but the Giants’ lasting image was a Trent Grisham grounder that they butchered.

Davis, the third baseman, was shifted toward the middle and fielded the grounder but took a long time to throw to first, and his throw was wide. An infield single. From there, Belt — who was drilled on his right hand by a fifth-inning pitch — air-mailed a throw home in a bid to catch Ha-Seong Kim.

The Giants headed home after losing two of three in the series. They took the opener 1-0 and rallied to tie Tuesday’s game with a three-run rally in the ninth, but Manny Machado hit a walkoff homer.

Broke the rule: Manageg Gabe Kapler laid it all out the night before. After Tuesday’s loss, he stressed the importance of getting the Padres’ 9-1 hitters out “some how some way,” even mentioning Austin Nola and Jurickson Profar by name.

If not, with Juan Soto, Manny Machado and the gang coming up next, “you’re going to get hurt.”

That’s exactly what played out in the third inning Wednesday. Both Nola and Profar reached base off Junis, and then the heart of the order made the right-hander pay.

Soto singled to load the bases, and Machado smacked a two-run double. It didn’t end there. Josh Bell walked. Drury singled. As did Jake Cronenworth. Seven straight batters reached base, and four runs were scored in the process.



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