SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Pitcher Aaron Harang foiled San Francisco's plans of maintaining momentum in the chase for a playoff berth by leading the San Diego Padres to a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Wednesday.
The defending World Series champions had hoped to sweep the three-game series against the Padres and close the gap at the top of the National League West, but Harang (13-5) shut down San Francisco (75-68) by allowing just one run in seven innings.
San Diego's Jesus Guzman chipped in with an RBI single in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie, before Cameron Maybin's RBI triple in the eighth completed the scoring.
Padres closer Heath Bell pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to record his 36th save of the season.
The win was just the second in 13 games for the NL West cellar-dwelling Padres (62-81) and it dropped the Giants seven games behind division-leading Arizona.
Trying to keep San Francisco's playoff hopes from slipping further, starter Matt Cain (11-10) tossed seven innings and allowed just two runs but still had to settle for the loss.
"It seems like it happens to (Cain) more than anybody," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters of his pitcher's lower-scoring defeats.
"But he keeps grinding out there for you."
Cain allowed a solo blast to Will Venable in the first to fall behind 1-0, but the scores were tied in the fifth when San Francisco rookie Brett Pill homered for a second straight game after going deep in his first career at-bat on Tuesday.
Pill was also thrown out at home plate in the seventh while trying to score the potential game-tying run, with Venable making the throw from right field.
"It was nice to make a play for (Harang). Because the last time I was out there with Aaron pitching, it didn't go so well," said Venable, who made a poor defensive play during Harang's previous start, a 3-0 loss to Colorado.
"This was a good team win."
(Editing by John O'Brien)