SAN FRANCISCO — After sitting on the bench all night, Giants backup catcher Nick Hundley took one look at the lineup card in the ninth inning and figured he might get a chance to hit.
His calculations were spot-on.
Hundley lined a two-run single off San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand with two outs to give San Francisco a 6-5 comeback victory Monday.
“Just quick University of Arizona math on my part,” Hundley said. “I knew that if I come up, I’m coming up with two outs and bases loaded if the game’s not tied. That was my mindset from the first pitch of the inning, to get ready for a two-out, bases-loaded situation. It came to fruition and thankfully we got it done.”
The Giants, who scored in only the first and the ninth, trailed 5-3 before rallying for their third straight win and seventh in nine games.
Pinch-hitter Austin Slater was hit by Hand’s first pitch in the ninth. After Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew McCutchen struck out, Buster Posey walked. Evan Longoria followed with an RBI single that fell between shortstop Freddy Galvis and left fielder Franchy Cordero before Hand (1-3) walked Brandon Belt to load the bases.
Hundley took a ball, then lined the game-winner into left-centre. Posey scored standing up and Longoria crossed home plate sliding as the rest of the Giants rushed out of the dugout to celebrate.
“It does great things for the morale of the team to come back,” San Francisco starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. “When you’re in those situations you know you can do it again. It’s just great to see the guys fight all game and not quit.”
Hand blamed trouble locating his slider.
“I was getting behind in quite a few counts,” he said. “I just didn’t shut them down. I didn’t have it today.”
Pierce Johnson (1-1) retired three batters for the win.
McCutchen and Longoria each had two hits and an RBI for San Francisco. Posey and Austin Jackson also drove in runs.
The Giants improved to 6-2 on their 10-game homestand.
San Diego scored three times off reliever Reyes Moronta in the sixth to take the lead but stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth and left a man on first in the ninth.
Cordero had two hits and walked twice. Eric Hosmer also had two hits and Chase Headley added a pinch-hit RBI single for the struggling Padres.
“It just didn’t work out,” manager Andy Green said. “It’s a tough one to let get away late.”
The Giants’ rally prevented Padres rookie Eric Lauer from getting his first major league win. The 22-year-old struck out six in five innings and pitched through traffic most of the night but left after San Diego took a 5-3 lead.
“The first inning I shot myself in the foot,” Lauer said. “I’m happy I was able to grind through it.”
ROUGH WATERS FOR SHARK
Samardzija allowed two runs over five innings but continued to struggle with his control. He walked three and has failed to make it past the fifth inning in each of his three starts since coming off the disabled list.
Padres: Starting catcher Austin Hedges was removed in the bottom of the second with right elbow tendinitis. Hedges struck out in the top half and was replaced by A.J. Ellis.
Giants: Hoping for clearance to begin a throwing program, San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner travelled to Arizona to meet with the same doctor who performed surgery on his left pinkie. Dr. Donald Sheridan inserted three pins into Bumgarner’s pinkie after the 2014 World Series MVP was hit by a line drive late in spring training. … 2B Joe Panik underwent surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and will miss at least six weeks. … OF Mac Williamson remains in concussion protocol.
RHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 3.64 ERA) pitches for the Padres on Tuesday in his fourth road start of the season. LHP Andrew Suarez (0-1, 6.75) is scheduled to start for the Giants.