Padres stay hot as Banks nearly shuts out Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Josh Banks wandered up the steps to the clubhouse well behind his teammates, looking both ways as if slightly bewildered. Perhaps he just needed to pinch himself.

What a pickup for the Padres.

Banks pitched a six-hitter for his first career complete game and sent San Diego to its fifth win in six games, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Saturday.

Banks had a shutout going into the ninth, but allowed Aaron Rowand's RBI single. He held on to help San Diego win the series and earn its first three-game winning streak of 2008.

"I was pretty mad," Banks said of his reaction to losing his shutout bid. "I had a feeling he was going to swing at the first pitch."

Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run single in a four-run first as San Diego staked Banks (2-0) to a comfortable cushion, and added another RBI single in the seventh that scored his big brother, Edgar.

Banks pitched a gem on a day the Padres really needed it -- they played 13 innings Friday night. This after he worked six innings of scoreless relief in his previous appearance, May 25 in the team's 18-inning win over Cincinnati.

"I pretty much felt the same," he said. "I was able to get everything over for strikes and I was able to get ahead early on. I was trying to go as long as I could because we had the 13-inning game."

Banks retired the first 10 batters he faced before Emmanuel Burriss' infield single in the third. He allowed Jose Castillo's one-out single in the ninth and Rowand's hit two batters later but stayed in to finish with closer Trevor Hoffman warming up in the bullpen. John Bowker popped up to the catcher to end it.

The 25-year-old Banks was impressive in his first start of 2008, first for the Padres and second of his career. The right-hander, who made two relief outings for San Diego after coming up from Triple-A Portland, was claimed off waivers from Toronto on April 23. He got through six innings on an efficient 60 pitches and finished the day with 101, striking out five and not surrendering a walk.

"He picked up where he left off a week ago," manager Bud Black said. "A great job on a day when we truly needed length from a starter. To go a complete game is a tremendous effort. Hats off to Josh. The thing about it is he's got composure on the mound, he has a sense of what he wants to do with each pitch and he pitches his game."

Kevin Kouzmanoff, who went 0-for-6 and accounted for nine outs a night earlier including grounding into a triple play, had two singles. His first hit came in the big first inning.

"The first inning killed us, no question about it," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't get off to a good start."

The Giants dropped their seventh straight at home, a first in the club's 9-year-old waterfront ballpark.

"That's something we have to figure out," Bochy said.

Giants starter Pat Misch (0-2) was left to wait at least another five days to try again for his first major league victory. This was the lefty's 10th career start and sixth this year. He has lost his last two outings after getting no-decisions in his previous four starts, and he could be the odd man out when starter Kevin Correia comes off the disabled list soon.

"Streaks happen. It's a little losing streak for me," Misch said. "You're not going to throw in the towel and say, 'I can't win anymore."

Misch allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked three.

Bochy rested many of his regulars following a 7-3, 13-inning loss a night earlier that went 3 hours, 44 minutes -- a game in which San Francisco turned the majors' second triple play this year.

Shortstop Omar Vizquel -- whose 2,587 games at his position are a major league record -- got the day off, along with catcher Bengie Molina and second baseman Ray Durham.

Game notes
The Padres scored four runs in the first for the second time this year, their most in the initial inning. ... Giants INF Rich Aurilia missed his third straight game while waiting to pass a kidney stone. "I feel better today," he said after the game. "I'm going to try to play tomorrow." ... Padres LHP Shawn Estes broke the thumb on his throwing hand when he fell on the tunnel stairs between the team's clubhouse and dugout Friday night, then he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after X-rays revealed the broken bone. The club activated RHP reliever Carlos Guevara, a Rule 5 pitcher, from his rehab assignment at Portland to take Estes' roster spot. Guevara missed much of spring training with groin and hamstring injuries. ... Injured Padres ace Jake Peavy, last year's NL Cy Young Award winner who is on the DL with a swollen right elbow, celebrated his 27th birthday. ... Banks came into the game with an 8.53 road ERA in his first two appearances and lowered that to 3.52 (six earned runs in 15 1/3 innings). ... Misch went 0-2 with a 7.03 ERA in May.