SAN FRANCISCO — The San Diego Padres are far from ready to crown themselves National League West champions, not in mid-August and not with such a narrow division lead, even if they have repeatedly handled the team right on their heels.
This time, they beat Giants ace Tim Lincecum in the process.
Yorvit Torrealba homered and Miguel Tejada hit a two-run single to back Wade LeBlanc, and the first-place Padres took a key series from San Francisco with an 8-2 victory Sunday.
“They’re not going anywhere,” manager Bud Black said of the Giants. “Any time you win a series on the road it’s a good series. We’ll be happy with this but not content with anything.”
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Tony Gwynn Jr. and Everth Cabrera also singled in runs in San Diego’s four-run second as the Padres moved 3 1⁄2 games ahead of the Giants in the division standings.
Lincecum (11-7) has the first losing streak of three straight starts in his career. The two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, facing the Padres for the first time since beating them on July 9 last year, was done after his second-shortest outing this year of 3 2⁄3 innings.
He gave up his share of bloop hits.
“I missed my spots here and there. There were a lot of bloop hits here and there but hits are hits and a loss is a loss,” he said. “At the end of the day that’s what I have to look at it as and just get better from here.”
The Padres beat the Giants for the ninth time in 11 meetings this year.
Giants rookie Buster Posey, batting second for the first time this season, hit a two-run homer in the third. That ended a 101 at-bat homerless drought dating to his last homer July 17 against the New York Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi.
Yet LeBlanc (7-10) didn’t make many mistakes.
He allowed two runs on four hits — three of them to Posey — in seven strong innings, struck out seven and walked two in winning back-to-back starts for the third time all season.
Ryan Ludwick and Chase Headley each had RBI singles for San Diego, which also scored an unearned run in the third on Pablo Sandoval’s throwing error. Sandoval fielded Torrealba’s two-hopper and stepped on third to force out Ludwick, but threw over Aubrey Huff’s head at first.
Lincecum returned to his 2009 warmup tune of “Electric Feel” by alternative band MGMT to try to get himself going again.
He struck out the side in the first, getting leadoff man Will Venable and No. 3 hitter Adrian Gonzalez swinging with change-ups, then cleanup hitter Ludwick on a 93 mph fastball. He finished with six strikeouts and was tagged for six runs, five earned, on eight hits.