Joaquin Arias powers Giants to victory against Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The San Francisco Giants have responded well to being without their top offensive player.

Playing their third game without suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera, the Giants cranked up their offense and used another big inning in an 8-7 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

Joaquin Arias homered and drove in three runs, Hunter Pence had two RBIs and Buster Posey had three hits and one of San Francisco's three sacrifice flies.

"That's what it takes, guys picking each other up," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

San Francisco has scored 22 runs on 37 hits in three games since Cabrera was suspended on Wednesday for 50 games following a positive test for testosterone.

Arias hit a leadoff homer in the second and had an RBI single to cap a four-run fifth that put the Giants ahead 5-4. He blooped an RBI single in the seventh when San Francisco scored twice to take a 7-5 lead.

"It's fun to see our offense work," said Pablo Sandoval, who had two hits and drove in a run. "When you have guys coming through in RBI situations, I'm happy for that."

The Giants followed up the 15 hits they had in Friday night's 10-1 win over San Diego, when they broke loose for an eight-run inning, with 14 more on Saturday.

"It was a good win for us, good comeback," said Bochy. "The guys had another big inning to save us."

San Francisco remained in first place in the NL West by a half-game over the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-2 winners over Atlanta.

San Diego lost despite getting a three-run homer from Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin's solo shot. The Padres have dropped five straight games and have lost 19 of their last 25 meetings with the Giants.

"It's been nice to hit a couple of homers," Headley said. "You try to focus on wins and losses. When you don't win, it really doesn't matter to you."

Headley reached the 20-homer mark for the first time in his career. The switch-hitter leads the majors in August with eight home runs and 24 RBIs.

Jose Mijares (1-0) retired the only two batters he faced to pick up the win. Jeremy Affeldt allowed two runs in the ninth before Clay Hensley got the final out for his third save.

Giants starter Barry Zito lasted only four innings before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter leading off the fifth. Zito allowed four runs and six hits.

"I knew I had a fresh bullpen and we needed to get back in the game," Bochy said about lifting Zito while trailing, 4-1.

Zito is 1-2 with a 7.37 ERA in his last five starts. At Petco Park, he is 0-3 with a 7.28 ERA in his last six starts.

"I wasn't frustrated with him," Zito said. "I was frustrated I wasn't more aggressive."

Brad Brach (1-3) allowed two runs and four hits with a walk, retiring just one batter.

San Diego's Eric Stults couldn't hold a 4-1 lead. He gave up five runs and nine hits over six innings.

Headley contributed to the Giants' four-run inning with a questionable defensive play.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot led off with a single and went to third on Angel Pagan's double. Marco Scutaro followed with a sacrifice fly. Sandoval then hit a grounder to Headley's left at third base.

As Headley fielded the ball, he had to make a 360-degree spin. Instead of going to first, the off-balanced Headley decided to throw home in an attempt to get Pagan. But the throw had little zip on it, and Pagan scored easily.

"Obviously, I wish I would have made the throw to first, now," Headley said.

Posey doubled and Sandoval soon scored on Pence's sacrifice fly. Arias then singled in the final run.

Game notes
The Padres scored more runs against San Francisco than they had in losing their previous four games, when they were outscored 28-2. ... Zito is 1-7 in his last 12 starts against the Padres. This was the first time in that stretch that he received more than two runs of support. ... It appears likely that Padres Opening Day starter Tim Stauffer is done for the season. Stauffer, who made only one start, has been on the DL with a strained right elbow virtually all season. The right-hander is considering surgery to repair a flexor tendon. ... San Francisco has won 11 of its last 15 road games since the All-Star break, outscoring its opponents by a 110-50 margin. ... San Francisco RHP Ryan Vogelsong (10-6, 2.72 ERA), coming off his worst start of the season, opposes LHP Clayton Richard (9-12, 3.91) in the series finale Sunday.