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Date of game: 9/25/2014

Recap: San Francisco vs. San Diego

San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-3 with four RBI as the San Francisco Giants snuck past the San Diego Padres, 9-8, in a wild opener of a four-game series.

Yasmani Grandal hit a go-ahead gram slam in the seventh inning, but the Giants responded with three runs in the bottom half to retake the lead.

Brandon Belt, who along with Brandon Crawford hit solo home runs, knocked in the tying run with a base hit before Hunter Pence scored on a suicide squeeze.

The playoff-bound Giants won for just the second time in seven games and still trail the Pirates by one game for the top wild card spot in the NL. The club clinched a playoff berth thanks to the Brewers' loss earlier Thursday.

San Francisco staked Yusmeiro Petit to a 6-0 lead, and the right-hander was cruising in the sixth before Will Venable smacked a two-run homer to get the Padres on the board.

Grandal added a solo shot to end Petit's otherwise solid outing, and the Giants' bullpen coughed up the lead in the seventh.

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, and Grandal got all of a Jean Machi offering and sent it deep to right to suddenly put the Padres in front. Rene Rivera tacked on a solo homer off Machi two batters later.

San Francisco countered the power with small-ball in the home seventh. Joe Panik singled to open the frame and Andrew Susac hit a ball that caromed off the first-base bag, then the leg of umpire Eric Cooper for another base hit.

Sandoval and Belt each singled in a run, and Pence narrowly slid in safely at home on Matt Duffy's successful squeeze bunt.

Blaine Boyer (0-1) was charged with all three runs and took the loss, while Tim Lincecum (11-9) recorded the final out in the top half to earn the win.

Santiago Casilla pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his 18th save.

The Giants scored an average of two runs over its previous nine games but broke out the bats against Andrew Cashner, who beat them last Saturday. Cashner, who came in with the third lowest ERA in the majors, allowed a season-high six runs on eight hits over five innings.

"They had a nice plan against him," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Looked like they were looking for the ball up and he just couldn't get the ball down."

Sandoval knocked in Panik with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and Belt began the next frame by clearing everything in right field and landing one in McCoy Cove.

Buster Posey doubled in Gregor Blanco in the third and scored on a Sandoval base hit, Crawford took Cashner deep an inning later and Sandoval drove in his third run with a single in the fifth.

Game Notes

The Giants recorded 12 hits to San Diego's 11 ... Grandal recorded his second career multi-home run game ... Cashner's ERA rose from 2.21 to 2.55 ... The Padres swept the Giants in San Diego last weekend and still lead the season series, 10-7.

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