SAN FRANCISCO — Will Venable made an incredible catch to save San Diego, pinch-hitting pitcher Andrew Cashner drove in the go-ahead run with a perfectly executed safety squeeze in the 13th inning, and the Padres extended their season-best winning streak to seven games with a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
Venable’s diving grab on the center-field warning track with his back to home plate ended the 12th and stole a game-winning hit from Juan Perez.
Moments later, Alexi Amarista started the winning rally with a single and went to third on Chris Denorfia’s single. Cashner came up to face Jose Mijares (0-1) and dropped down a bunt single between the mound and third base for his sixth career hit and second RBI.
San Diego added another run on a bases-loaded walk from Jake Dunning.
Nick Vincent (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings. Huston Street finished the 4-hour, 35-minute game for his 14th save in 15 chances. It was San Francisco’s longest game of the year.
The Padres finally came through after they had two runners on and one out in the 11th and 12th, but Giants relievers Sandy Rosario and Javier Lopez got a pair of strikeouts to end each threat.
Headley hit a tying single in the seventh against Jean Machi, who induced an inning-ending double play by Jesus Guzman to avoid further damage.
The Giants (35-34) couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead for Barry Zito and dropped into fourth place in the NL West for the first time since April 8.
Zito struck out a season-high eight and got back on track at home where he pitches so well, but had nothing to show for it as the Padres rallied against the bullpen. The lefty walked off to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd with two outs in the sixth and runners on first and third.
Rangers 8, A’s 7: At Arlington, Texas, Nelson Cruz homered twice, A.J. Pierzynski drove in three runs and the Rangers snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the AL West-leading Oakland A’s.
Rookie Dan Straily hadn’t allowed a homer in his last six starts and 38 innings until Pierzynski went deep in the second inning. The first of Cruz’s two homers came off him as well.
The A’s right-hander, who had a 2.21 ERA in his previous five starts, allowed six runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings before Cruz greeted reliever Jesse Chavez (1-1) with his second homer.
Oakland, which entered the four-game series opener with a three-game division lead over Texas, wiped out an early 3-0 deficit with a six-run fourth ignited by a bizarre play.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a grounder that ricocheted off third baseman Adrian Beltre toward shortstop. Elvis Andrus was about to throw to first when he saw John Jaso running in front of him toward third.
Andrus threw to Beltre, who made a swiping attempt at a tag. Jaso, sliding headfirst in front of him, lifted his arm into the air trying to avoid the tag and then dived into the base with his left hand. He was called safe by third base umpire Jordan Baker even though it appeared his hand came off the bag while being tagged. Beltre was irate and Rangers manager Ron Washington also came out to argue the call.