San Francisco Giants' Cody Ross (13) is forced out at second base by San Diego Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, in San Francisco. Brandon Belt was safe at first. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tim Stauffer has thrown more pitches this season than in any other and he's still feeling strong. He's also still pitching effectively.
Stauffer gave up a home run to Carlos Beltran and that was enough in the San Diego Padres' 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
"I'd obviously like to get that home run back," Stauffer said. "He hit a pretty good pitch. He went down and got it. The other run they manufactured but it was enough."
Stauffer has career highs in starts (27), innings pitched (166) and strikeouts (114) in his first full season as a starter.
"I feel good now and I get all my work in," he said. "I don't look forward or behind, I just try to keep it simple."
A former first-round draft pick, Stauffer has had to overcome injuries and moves to the bullpen and back into the starting rotation.
"It's a tribute to his perseverance," Padres' manager Bud Black said. "He's battled back from a lot of issues and his career got untracked for a while. Right now he's solid as one of our guys at the top of the rotation."
Beltran returned to the starting lineup and sent a changeup from Stauffer (8-10) over the wall in right field in the fourth for his 16th home run of the season. The solo shot was the first of his career at AT&T Park.
Tim Lincecum (12-10) struck out seven and walked five in eight innings, pitching out of the stretch again the entire game. He gave up three hits and also had the go-ahead RBI single.
"The dude is a two-time Cy Young Award winner," Padres' Orlando Hudson said. "He's one of the elite pitchers in baseball. I can see him walk to the podium and grab a few more Cy Young's. That's the type of pitcher he is."
Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
After Cameron Maybin singled to start the sixth for the Padres, Beltran again found himself at the center of another big play. He dove for a ball near the right corner and missed, allowing Orlando Hudson to slide in for a triple and San Diego to slice the deficit to 2-1.
The Padres never could mount anything offensively.
The Giants avoided having to face closer Heath Bell, who they claimed off waivers. San Diego has 48 hours from the time Bell was claimed to decide whether to work out a trade with San Francisco, allow him to be claimed or pull him back from waivers.
NOTES: Home run king Barry Bonds was sitting with his son in box seats near the Giants dugout. ... U.S. women's soccer team members Abby Wabash and Megan Rapinoe were in attendance. Both were wearing Panda hats, which Giants fans often wear in support of 3B Pablo Sandoval. ... The Padres optioned RHP Pat Neshek to Triple-A Tucson. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong (10-3, 2.47 ERA) starts for the Giants against Houston's RHP Henry Sosa (0-2, 6.35 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series Thursday. ... San Diego announced that IF James Darnell will be optioned to Triple-A Tucson, with a corresponding move to come before Friday's series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.