SAN FRANCISCO — Eric Hosmer's impact on San Diego's offense had been minimal after he signed a $144 million contract with the Padres as a free agent this offseason.
A tiebreaking, opposite-field home run into the swirling winds at AT&T Park could be the spark the veteran first baseman has been looking for.
Hosmer homered off Giants closer Hunter Strickland with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting San Diego to a 3-2 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday night. Hosmer also tripled earlier and scored, and Christian Villanueva hit his ninth home run of the season in the Padres' third win in 10 games.
"It's uplifting," Hosmer said. "We feel like we've been playing good enough to win these games, but not really finishing and sealing the deal. It felt good to put the team ahead."
Kirby Yates (1-0) retired three batters for the win. Brad Hand, who took the loss after giving up three runs in the ninth on Monday, pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
The Giants retired 10 consecutive batters before Hosmer connected on a 2-1 pitch from Strickland (2-1). It was Hosmer's third home run with the Padres.
"He pierced the wind the other way and there's not many guys in the big leagues that can do that," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's got just ridiculous pop that way."
Hosmer wasn't sure he got enough of the pitch to get it out.
"Not here," Hosmer said. "It's just the way the wind blows. It's kind of a swirl out there. You really don't know which direction it's going to go. I knew I got a good piece of it, but from that point on I was just hoping it sailed over."
San Francisco had tied the game at 2 on Buster Posey's two-out RBI double in the seventh.
Before the game, the Giants placed right-hander Johnny Cueto on the disabled list because of inflammation in his pitching elbow. Cueto, who leads the major leagues with a 0.84 ERA, was on the DL in April with a sprained left ankle.
"This was not good news for us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You find a way to get through this. Hopefully we'll get good news on Johnny."
The Padres grounded into three double plays in the first six innings and had five hits, but made them count.
They also made a pair of sparkling defensive plays.
Center fielder Manuel Margot crashed into the wall while catching Andrew McCutchen's deep fly in the first. Right fielder Travis Jankowski made a diving catch on Evan Longoria's fly in the sixth.
"That catch by Manny, you see so many guys drop the baseball when they hit the wall and the ball hits the glove at the same time," Green said. "Then that diving catch by Travis, there's not a lot of right fielders that end up catching that baseball, especially as much havoc as the wind was wreaking up there."
Villanueva homered off Giants starter Andrew Suarez in the first. Jose Pirela added an RBI groundout in the fourth to drive in Hosmer.
Maybe it was because he got to sleep in his own bed for a change, but Ross looked more like the pitcher who carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Arizona on April 20 than the one who got roughed up by Colorado in his most recent outing. The San Diego right-hander, who grew up across the bay in Oakland, allowed one run and had nine strikeouts in six innings.
Padres: Catcher Austin Hedges was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis. Raffy Lopez was called up from Triple-A El Paso.
Giants: Cueto will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner has been cleared to resume throwing and will begin on flat ground this weekend.
San Diego's Clayton Richards (1-3, 5.35 ERA) pitches against San Francisco's Derek Holland (0-3. 5.76) in a battle of lefties at AT&T Park on Wednesday afternoon. Richards has received no run support in three of his six starts this season.