SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Zito's career-best start for San Francisco ended Tuesday night when he allowed David Eckstein's two-run single and walked a season-high seven batters in the Giants' 3-2 loss to the first-place San Diego Padres.
Ryan Webb (1-1) went 1 1-3 innings to earn the win for the Padres, who extended their lead over the Giants in the NL West to 1½ games.
Yorvit Torrealba also drove in a run for San Diego, which is without two key pitchers for unforeseen circumstances: starter Kevin Correia following the death of his younger brother in a hiking accident Saturday, and Tim Stauffer after he underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday morning.
Zito (5-1) couldn't command his fastball and his pitch count increased in a hurry.
After getting hits in his first two at-bats, including his two-run single in the second, Eckstein drew three straight walks.
Zito was done after 108 pitches over five innings, his shortest outing of the year. He allowed three earned runs and six hits. The left-hander hadn't walked more than three in any of his previous outings this year.
San Francisco finished with 12 walks, its most since issuing 13 free passes May 18, 2007, at Oakland. But the Padres also stranded 15 baserunners.
Zito is back in the good graces of the home crowd now that he's been winning regularly. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with the A's, Zito was often booed during his struggles after signing a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.
San Diego leadoff man Scott Hairston challenged the pitcher right away, flying out to center on Zito's 11th offering of the game.
San Diego starter Wade LeBlanc was relieved after Juan Uribe's two-out RBI triple in the fifth. Aubrey Huff singled in a run in the third.
Heath Bell, the fourth Padres reliever, pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances, and San Diego won for the eighth time in the last 11 meetings in the rivalry, including a three-game sweep last month at home.
While this marked LeBlanc's second straight no-decision, the Padres are 5-0 in his starts and 10-2 over his last 12 dating to Aug. 29.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game in remembrance of late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell and 22-year-old Trevor Brent Correia, who died Saturday. The pitcher was placed on the bereavement list Tuesday, though manager Bud Black believes Correia will take his turn in the rotation Saturday at home vs. the Dodgers. ... Giants LF Mark DeRosa underwent an MRI exam and nerve tests on his troublesome left wrist, and he missed his second straight start. ... Giants cleanup hitter Bengie Molina has hit safely in every home game he's played. ... LeBlanc missed getting a hit for just the second time this year. ... Giants INF Emmanuel Burriss, recovering from a broken left foot, is in San Francisco this week to be around the team after rehabilitating in Arizona at extended spring training. He is taking groundballs and batting practice and hopes to start a rehab assignment in about four weeks. ... San Francisco's Eli Whiteside had his first career stolen base in the seventh.