SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For a player who struggled in the spring and spent the first part of the season in the minors, San Diego utility outfielder Travis Jankowski is trying to finish with a flourish.
Jankowski had three hits, including his fourth home run, and the Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Freddy Galvis added two hits, and Wil Myers had a sacrifice fly to help the Padres win their final road game of the season. San Diego finished 35-46 away from Petco Park and is 29-49 at home.
“I kind of feel like I’m showcasing my talents,” Jankowski said. “This year, getting to play on a more consistent basis more frequently, I feel I’ve been able to show the organization that I can help teams win. I’m happy with how I’m doing but I’m not content.”
Jankowski was batting .172 in September and was mired in a 4-for-23 funk before reaching on an infield single leading off the fifth and advancing to second when San Francisco starter Casey Kelly (0-3) tried swiping the ball to first baseman Chris Shaw. After Jankowski took third on a groundout, Kelly was called for a balk and the run scored.
Jankowski homered off Kelly in the seventh to make it 3-0. He also tripled in the ninth.
“He’s shown that he fills a really important niche role for us,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “You get a guy that can flat out run off the bench, flat out defend the field and when you get righties on the mound he can give you really competitive strong at-bats. That’s a winning baseball player.”
Miguel Diaz (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his second career win. Diaz was the third of seven pitchers used by Green on a day the Padres started reliever Luis Perdomo.
Kirby Yates struck out pinch-hitter Evan Longoria with two runners on in the ninth for his 12th save.
“I thought across the board the staff was good,” Green said. “A solid baseball game for us.”
Aramis Garcia hit his fourth home run for San Francisco. The Giants, who fired general manager Bobby Evans earlier in the week, have lost 18 of 23.
“The pitching was there,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “We just couldn’t get that last hit.”
The Giants pulled within 3-2 on Garcia’s two-run homer in the seventh.
San Francisco had two runners on later the same inning but Matt Strahm retired pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson on a groundout.
BALKING ON THE BALK
Kelly seemed surprised when he was called for the balk, and replays showed that the right-hander barely flinched. “When I shook my head I kind of moved my hands,” Kelly said. “I think that’s whey they called it. Once it gets to that point there’s really no going back so there’s no sense in arguing.”
GALVIS GOING STRONG
Galvis is on pace to play 162 games for the second consecutive season after signing with the Padres in the offseason.
“He’s been everything we looked for when we went out and got him,” Green said. “He’s been a perfect fit for us.”
Padres: 1B Eric Hosmer was held out of the starting lineup. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Giants: Longoria did not start and was still feeling soreness in his left knee a day after fouling a ball off it. Alen Hanson started in Longoria’s absence. Nick Hundley was also held out of the starting lineup, although Bochy said the veteran catcher was fine after getting hit in the back of the head by a follow-through swing.
Padres: LHP Eric Lauer (6-7, 4.60 ERA) faces the Diamondbacks in San Diego on Friday for the beginning of a season-ending series with Arizona. Lauer has allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of his previous 15 starts.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Bumgarner, who had a game-winning pinch-hit single Wednesday, has not allowed a run over his last 20 innings at AT&T Park.
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