SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez hardly moved a muscle as he watched the ball that came off of Wil Myers’ bat sail over his head and land in the left field bleachers at AT&T Park an estimated 433 feet away from home plate.
Reliever Neil Ramirez nearly had the same reaction, as his 93 mph fastball right down the pipe was turned around for one of the longest home runs of the season at China Basin.
The Giants got another encouraging outing from starter Matt Cain on Saturday, but their bullpen had a night to forget. Myers’ blast capped an eight-run sixth inning for the Padres, who tacked on three more runs in the seventh and cruised to a 12-4 win.
Cain struck out seven and allowed just one run on 86 pitches in five innings, but Ramirez and Chris Stratton combined to give up seven hits and 11 earned runs in two innings of relief.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was hoping to rest some of his other bullpen arms Saturday. That opened the door for Stratton, who allowed hits to the first three batters he faced and wound up being charged with five earned runs.
Stratton’s only other appearance this season came last Saturday in Colorado, when he threw three scoreless innings in what was a 12-3 Giants loss.
“He had such a nice outing in Colorado and it had been a little while,” Bochy said. “Obviously, I was hoping, maybe, run it out with him. He just couldn’t get settled in.”
Ramirez has also been mostly solid this season. Prior to Saturday, six of the nine earned runs he allowed in eight appearances came in that whitewash loss to the Rockies. He rebounded from that outing to pitch a scoreless inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
“It’s tough when two guys who you look at to give you length, they both struggle tonight,” Bochy said, “so that makes it tough.”
It all made Brandon Belt’s two-run single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning seem like ancient history as the Giants briefly took a 3-1 lead.
It also spoiled another solid outing from Cain, as the craftiness he used in his last three starts before Saturday was once again on full display.
No longer equipped with a 95 mph fastball, Cain used breaking balls and a two-seam fastball to keep the Padres off-balance Saturday. He struck out Manuel Margot in the first inning and Hunter Renfroe in the second inning, both on 74 mph curveballs.
Cain gave up four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first start on April 7 at San Diego, but came into Saturday with just two earned runs allowed in his last 18 innings.
“I think I’m constantly trying to grow as a pitcher,” Cain said. “You start going out there, you’re learning stuff, you’re finding different ways to try to get guys out. Trying to be creative.”
Cain credited catchers Buster Posey and Nick Hundley for helping adjust to a new way of throwing, saying they’ve done “a great job of trying to mix things up, get me out of my comfort zone, maybe throwing pitches at different counts, which has been beneficial.”
That included a six-inning performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday where he allowed two hits and struck out three. Cain was removed from Monday’s start against with hamstring tightness after just 70 pitches, but the Giants were confident after that game that Cain would be able to make his next start.
Cain blew through that pitch mark in the top of the fourth inning, with his 70th pitch being another 74 mph curveball in the dirt that struck out Renfroe for the second out.
Austin Hedges, though, followed that up with a single to center to put runners on the corners, and Erick Aybar followed that with a line drive single to center to score Ryan Schimpf from third base for a 1-0 Padres lead.
• The Giants moved shortstop Brandon Crawford from the bereavement list to the disabled list Saturday. Bochy said the MRI that Crawford had on his right groin Friday did not reveal anything more than a mild strain.
Crawford’s injury needs more time to heal than the seven games he would have been allowed to stay on the bereavement list, Bochy said. Crawford is eligible to return from the DL on May 6, when the Giants are in Cincinnati for the second of a three-game series against the Reds. Crawford is on the DL retroactive to Wednesday.
“He’s making progress, he’s doing better,” Bochy said, adding that the team feels Crawford would be close to full health when his time on the DL is up. “It’s going to be in the ballpark.”