SAN FRANCISCO — The same team that sent the San Francisco Giants into their post-All-Star break funk just handed them another frustrating defeat.
Paul Clemens fought through flu symptoms to combine with five relievers on a five-hit shutout, and the San Diego Padres beat San Francisco 4-0 Monday night.
The loss came at a time when the Giants appeared to be coming out of a second-half swoon. They gained two games on the NL West-leading Dodgers last weekend with a three-game sweep in Arizona.
But their latest defeat ended a streak of 11 consecutive home wins against the Padres and, more importantly, dropped San Francisco four games behind Los Angeles.
With 19 games left, however, the Giants still lead the race for the league’s top wild card.
The Giants had the best record in the majors going into the All-Star break. Then they were swept in San Diego during a three-game series that started a 1-7 road trip and set the tone for their miserable second half.
San Francisco is tied with Arizona for the worst record in the majors since the All-Star Game.
“We’ve had guys hot and cold since the break. We have not been consistent with our lineup,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It looked like we came out of it in Arizona. It sure looks bad to get shut out when you get back home the first day, but we’re staying behind these guys.”
Hector Sanchez homered and singled twice against his former club. Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs and Luis Sardinas added two hits while helping the Padres to their fourth consecutive win over the Giants.
San Francisco was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
“We hit some balls hard, we just couldn’t get anything to fall in and when we put guys on base we couldn’t get a hit,” Bochy said. “You’ve got to hit with runners on base and that was not there tonight. We had some pretty good hitters up there, too. We just couldn’t get that big hit to get us rolling.”
Sanchez spent his first five seasons in San Francisco as a backup behind four-time All-Star catcher Buster Posey and had homered only twice previously at AT&T Park before hitting a 2-2 pitch from starter Jeff Samardzija (11-10) into the stands above the brick wall in right field with one out in the sixth.
“We’re playing good ball there (in Arizona) and even in Colorado we were playing good ball, too,” Samardzija said. “You want to come out and throw some zeros and give us a chance to win the game, and unfortunately they scraped a few across that ended up being the difference.”
Samardzija allowed four runs over six innings. He struck out six and walked one.
“That two-run homer put a sour taste in my mouth,” Samardzija said. “Unfortunately, I left a splitter a little bit up in the zone and he was able to put a barrel on the ball.”
Clemens (3-5) wasn’t able to do his normal between-starts work because of his health but showed no lingering effects while pitching five gritty innings to end San Francisco’s three-game winning streak. The right-hander allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two.
Hunter Pence continued his hot hitting for the Giants, going 2 for 4. He’s batting .650 (13 for 20) over his last five games.
Padres: Manager Andy Green said RHP Tyson Ross (right shoulder inflammation) hasn’t progressed as quickly as the team had hoped and isn’t likely to pitch again this season. Ross did not accompany the club on its road trip and remained in San Diego to continue throwing. … OF Travis Jankowski left the team to be with his family in Pennsylvania for personal reasons.
Giants: 3B Eduardo Nunez was a late scratch because of back tightness. … Relief pitcher Derek Law threw a simulated game and is likely to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday. … OF Gregor Blanco (shoulder) is making progress and took swings before the game.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (2-3) pitches the middle game of the series Tuesday night in his sixth start since being signed as a free agent on Aug. 6.
Giants: RHP Albert Suarez (3-3) makes his 10th career start but first against San Diego. Suarez faced the Padres as a reliever earlier this season.