Giants finding a way to win every close game

The Giants have gotten just enough hitting from Brandon Crawford (center) and great starting pitching during this successful run. Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants are winning every close game.

That continued with Wednesday's triumph against the Padres, the Giants' 13th win in their past 14 games. Eleven of those 13 wins have been by two runs or fewer. The streak started with a walk-off win against the Blue Jays on May 11, and it continued with two walk-off wins in a three-game sweep of the Padres.

The Giants are 9-0 against the Padres this season. That is the longest win streak they’ve ever had against the Padres.

What does it take to win close games? For one thing, great pitching, which the Giants have gotten consistently from Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. On Wednesday, they got some from Jake Peavy, who allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

Peavy had an 8.47 ERA in his first seven starts, but he has allowed one run in two of his past three starts (sandwiched around an 8-1 loss to the Cubs).

The other four Giants starting pitchers have combined to allow 10 earned runs in 84 innings (1.07 ERA). Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Matt Cain have sub-1.50 ERAs in that span. Giants starting pitchers had combined for a 4.56 ERA prior to this run.

This pitching is needed because the Giants, collectively, aren’t hitting. In this stretch, they have batted .234, which ranks 25th in MLB, with a .662 OPS, which ranks 26th.

That’s not to say no one has hit. Brandon Crawford, who won Wednesday’s game with a walk-off hit, has a .280/.327/.480 slashline in these 14 games. Hunter Pence (who missed Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury) is hitting .289 with an .841 OPS. Denard Span is hitting .291 with a .371 on-base percentage. All of that has helped offset Buster Posey’s struggles (.239 with a .699 OPS).

There has been good pitching and a little hitting, and there has been some good defense. Entering Wednesday, the Giants had 13 Defensive Runs Saved as a team, not including runs saved via shift, in this streak (Runs Saved are recalculated early morning). Their total ranked second to that of the Rays in that span.

Span has three defensive runs saved in the past 14 games. Crawford, Brandon Belt, Posey and Cueto each have two. Crawford currently leads all shortstops with nine defensive runs saved this season.

Good defense came in handy Wednesday, when the Giants had two Web Gems: Span's leaping catch at the fence and Kelby Tomlinson's throwing a runner out at the plate.

So how do you beat these Giants? You have to be great or, in this case, Jake Arrieta. He’s the only pitcher who has gotten a win against San Francisco on this run.

But perhaps Coors Field can tame the Giants' hot pitching. Cain starts there on Friday. He has a 4.80 career ERA in that ballpark, and Bumgarner’s is 4.21 (he pitches Saturday). However, Sunday’s starter, Johnny Cueto, has good numbers there, including a 2.61 ERA in five starts.