Keaton Winn

What we learned as rough first inning dooms Giants in loss to Padres

NBC Universal, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants’ hopes of stringing together back-to-back wins for the second time in the 2024 MLB season were dashed early in Saturday’s game when starting pitcher Keaton Winn gave up a grand slam in the first inning, setting the tone during a 4-0 loss to the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park.

The four runs were too much for the Giants’ sputtering offense to overcome. They were handcuffed most of the game by Padres starter Michael King.

King, who walked seven and lasted only four innings against San Francisco on March 31, was a lot sharper this time around. He scattered four hits, walked one and allowed only two runners past second base over seven strong innings.

One day after the Giants (3-6) electrified the Oracle Park crowd with a walk-off win, there wasn’t much to cheer about this time against the Padres (5-6).

Winn recovered from the grand slam but dropped to 0-2 this season while his ERA rose to 5.40.

Here are the takeaways from Saturday’s game:

Big first inning dooms Winn

Winn’s day got off to a rough start when Xander Bogaerts hit a soft fly ball to center that fell in for a single. Manny Machado added a two-out hit and Winn walked Ha-Seong Kim before Jurickson Profar crushed a four-seam fastball over the brick wall in right field.

The Giants’ right-hander settled down after that and allowed only two baserunners for the rest of his night. Winn retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. One of the two Padres to reach base safely during that stretch was erased on a caught stealing when Winn made a great pick-off to first base and the Giants caught Jackson Merrill in a run down. The other runner, Jake Cronenworth, was erased on a double play.

Conforto cools off

Michael Conforto had been the Giants’ most productive hitter through the first 1 1/2 weeks of the season but he couldn’t keep the good feelings going, as he was hitless in three at-bats from the clean-up spot on Saturday.

Conforto, who has reached base in each of San Francisco’s first nine games, was batting a team-leading .419 going into the day but got kept in check by King.

Like most of the Giants, Conforto struggled to get the ball out of the infield. He popped out to third base, grounded out to the pitcher, then flew out to center in his three at-bats against King. Conforto drew a leadoff walk against reliever Robert Suarez in the ninth but was stranded there when the next three Giants were set down in order.

Getting some replay love

Fernando Tatis Jr. appeared to beat out an infield single leading off the third inning before the call was overturned on replay.

Giants shortstop Nick Ahmed fielded Tatis’ grounder and made a high throw to first base. LaMonte Wade Jr. leaped to make the catch then turned to try and tag Tatis, who tried to jump back out of the way.

Tatis was initially called safe but Giants manager Bob Melvin challenged. Replays showed that Wade got Tatis with the tip of his glove as the Padres slugger attempted to avoid the tag.

That was big because Winn walked the next batter before getting Manny Machado to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast

Contact Us