Sports

Harang helps Padres deal Giants a big loss

San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, top, jumps after tagging out San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval (48)  during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/ Kent C. Horner)
San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, top, jumps after tagging out San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval (48) during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/ Kent C. Horner) AP

SAN DIEGO — The San Francisco Giants know time is running short on defending their World Series title.

Aaron Harang threw seven strong innings, and Cameron Maybin had two hits and an RBI as the San Diego Padres dealt a big blow to the Giants’ fading playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.

The Giants, who have 19 games left, came into the game trailing National League West-leading Arizona by six games. San Francisco has dropped three of four and six of 10.

“We have to win,” Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain said. “That’s all we have to do, is win.”

San Francisco was going for a sweep of the three-game series against a club it had beaten six of the previous seven games at Petco Park.

But Cain, who is 8-19 lifetime against the Padres, had little to show for allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. After he allowed Will Venable’s leadoff homer in the first, he settled down and retired 11 consecutive batters before he issued two walks. Cain didn’t allow another hit until Maybin’s two-out double in the sixth.

“He did a great job,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He gave up the leadoff homer and then he dealt. He keeps grinding out there for us.”

Cain (11-10) struck out seven and walked three as he made his 200th career start.

San Francisco rookie Brett Pill homered for a second straight game after he hit a home run Tuesday night in his first Major League at-bat.

“It’s kind of frustrating when we can’t really do anything for Matt,” Pill said.

Venable scored twice, while Maybin doubled and tripled in a run in the ninth.

The Padres got clutch defensive plays by Venable and Maybin.

The first was by Maybin, who made a long running catch while crashing into the wall in left-center field to rob Justin Christian leading off the game. Maybin hit his forehead on the padded wall and was on the ground for about a minute before he got up and stayed in the game.

“I kind of face-planted dead square,” Maybin said. “Luckily, I was able to make a play and keep the early momentum because those guys take advantage.”

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