Giants' Cueto goes the distance in 1-0 win over Padres
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) With Madison Bumgarner still working out the kinks in his delivery, Johnny Cueto has emerged as the Giants de facto ace through the first month of the season.
It might not be the way manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Bobby Evans planned it but it's hard to argue the results - especially after Cueto's dominant outing to get his 100th career win.
Cueto pitched a seven-hitter for his seventh career shutout to outwork James Shields, and San Francisco beat the San Diego Padres 1-0 on Tuesday night.
Cueto (4-1) struck out a season-high 11 batters, walked one and repeatedly pitched out of trouble to help the Giants to their seventh straight home win against the Padres. It was his 13th career complete game.
''I'm not surprised by what he's doing because he's had that kind of career,'' Bochy said. ''That's why we wanted him here. He kept his composure out there and just made some great pitches. We needed it.''
Denard Span drove in the game's only run with a two-out double in the fifth inning that scored Brandon Crawford.
Alexei Ramirez had two hits for San Diego. The Padres were blanked for the sixth time this season.
The matchup between Cueto and Shields - two former All-Stars - lived up to the hype.
Shields (0-4) remained winless despite giving up only three hits over seven innings. The Padres' hard-luck ace did not allow a hit until Crawford's leadoff single in the fifth but received no run support again.
''Everybody is frustrated after a game like that,'' San Diego manager Andy Green said. ''That's the best (Shields) has pitched. You can't ask for much more than that.''
It marked just the second time this season that San Francisco has won despite getting out-hit.
Cueto was strong all night while pitching the first shutout this season for the Giants.
San Francisco's marquee free agent addition in the offseason, Cueto retired nine straight after Jon Jay opened the game with a leadoff double. Cueto later worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth when he got Jay to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
The 30-year-old Cueto became just the 12th Dominican-born pitcher to win at least 100 games in the majors.
''I wasn't even thinking about the 100th win,'' Cueto said. ''I was just taking it like a regular day.
The Giants didn't get much off Shields until Crawford's leadoff single in the fifth. Cueto sacrificed Crawford to second and Span followed with an RBI double off the wall in right.
That was all San Francisco got off Shields and it turned out to be enough.
NO RUNS FOR SHIELDS
Shields has four quality starts this season but has no wins to show for it, primarily because of San Diego's lack of offense behind him. The Padres have scored just five runs in the 33 innings that Shields has pitched this season and have been held scoreless three times when Shields is on the mound.
BOCHY: REPLAY OVERKILL
Bochy believes teams have gone overboard in their challenges on plays at second base. ''You see every manager is holding up the game to see if the guy was on the bag or the slide was good,'' he said. ''The point of the rule is to get the guy to slide. Now it's almost like a lawyer, you find a loophole - if he came off the bag a couple inches or even though it was a good slide, it wasn't a slide that could hurt anybody, you can get called on it.''
Padres: Right-handed reliever Kevin Quackenbush was unavailable after pitching in three consecutive games. ... LHP Michael Kirkman was called up from Triple-A El Paso. Utility man Jose Pirela was optioned down to make room. RHP Cory Mazzoni was designated for assignment.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-1) pitches in afternoon series finale on Wednesday seeking just his third win in nine career starts against San Francisco.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-1) starts against San Diego and is coming off his strongest outing of the season. Samardzija has also done well at the plate and is tied with Jake Peavy with three RBIs, most among San Francisco's pitchers.