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Posey, Lincecum lead Giants to 4-3 win that snaps three-game losing streak

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SAN DIEGO — The San Francisco Giants are totally in favor of instant replay.

As soon as Xavier Nady was called safe after sliding into home plate to apparently pull the San Diego Padres to 4-3 on Chase Headley's bases-loaded double in the third inning Sunday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy popped out of the dugout to challenge. After 88 seconds, the umpires called Nady out and a run came off the board. Replays showed Buster Posey made a swipe tag on Nady before he touched the plate.

"I like replay, and obviously it changed the game today," Bochy said after the Padres held on for a 4-3 victory that snapped a three-game losing streak. "That's a run on the board. It helped us win the game by getting it right."

Tim Lincecum liked it, too, because it helped him get his first victory of 2014.

"We could have a tie game right now," Lincecum said. "I'm just glad we were able to get an out right there. That was huge. That inning could still be going on right now. You never know," Lincecum said.

Posey hit a two-run home run and the Giants had only three hits. Padres pitchers retired 23 of the final 24 batters and the Giants didn't get a hit after the second inning.

The Giants had scored only one run in each of their previous three games.

Bochy's challenge proved to be big because Nick Hundley homered off Lincecum on the first pitch of the seventh. Had Bochy not challenged, the game would have been tied.

"I knew I was going to challenge it because I thought he tagged him," Bochy said. "Buster said he tagged him. Where he was, he had to be out. He was in front of the plate, so if we tagged him, I knew he couldn't have gotten to the plate."

Posey said he knew he tagged Nady.

"That's tough at full speed, though," Posey said as he watched a replay in the clubhouse after the game.

Bochy, a former catcher, agreed.

"It's the toughest call to make in baseball, the play at home plate."

PHOTO: San Diego Padres second baseman Alexi Amarista, right, and shortstop Everth Cabrera, top, cannot reach a single by San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford as Giants baserunner Brandon Hicks (14) races around the bases to third in the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 20, 2014, in San Diego.  (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
San Diego Padres second baseman Alexi Amarista, right, and shortstop Everth Cabrera, top, cannot reach a single by San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford as Giants baserunner Brandon Hicks (14) races around the bases to third in the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 20, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Headley's double went into the right field corner, bringing in Venable and Smith ahead of Nady's slide.

"I was hoping he got in there or was hoping it was inconclusive," Headley said. "That's the great thing about replay, it takes it out of the hands of the umpire if it's a close play."

Manager Bud Black said the reversal didn't take "a lot out of us. It would have been nice. But I think we are seeing a new era in front of our eyes with replay."

Said Bochy: "Even when you think he's out, your emotions get involved. It's got to be conclusive. You've got to remind yourself of that."

Lincecum (1-1) was chased by Hundley's first homer of the season. Lincecum allowed three runs and seven hits, struck out seven and walked three.

Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances. He issued a leadoff walk to Chase Headley, who advanced on a wild pitch before Romo retired the side.

Lincecum improved to 14-6 in 27 starts against San Diego, his most against any opponent. Lincecum threw his first career no-hitter at Petco Park on July 13.

It was the ninth time in 10 games the Giants were involved in a one-run decision.

"Unbelievable, man," Bochy said. "I've been on a few runs where you play tight games, but never like this. A few more gray hairs, but it goes with the territory. It's who we are."

Walks hurt Padres starter Robbie Erlin (1-2).

Posey homered an estimated 427 feet to left-center on the first pitch he saw from Erlin in the first, his fourth. Hunter Pence was aboard on a one-out walk.

Angel Pagan hit a two-run, bases-loaded single with one out in the second. Erlin had loaded the bases by walking Brandon Hicks, allowing a single by Brandon Crawford and walking Lincecum.

Erlin allowed four runs and three hits in six innings, walked three and struck out three. After allowing the two-run single by Pagan, Erlin retired his final 14 batters.

NOTES: Lincecum improved to 8-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 15 career starts at Petco Park. ... San Diego 2B Jedd Gyorko got the day off. He had played every inning of the Padres' first 18 games. Alexi Amarista started in his place. ... The Giants head to Colorado, where they open a three-game series Monday night, with RHP Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 5.40) scheduled to face LHP Jorge De La Rosa (0-3, 7.58). The Padres will be at Milwaukee to start a three-game set, with RHP Andrew Cashner (2-1, 1.27) scheduled to oppose RHP Wily Peralta (2-0, 1.96).

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PHOTO: CORRECTS NAME OF PITCHER TO LINECUM - San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Linecum works against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 20, 2014, in San Diego.  (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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