SAN FRANCISCO -- There's something about San Diego Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman that fires up the Giants. In a good way.
The Giants responded to a go-ahead home run by Guzman in the seventh inning Wednesday with a game-deciding rally in the bottom of the seventh, beating the Padres 4-2 at AT&T Park.
The Giants remained a game and a half behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the N.L. West, with the 22-49 Miami Marlins coming to town Thursday for a four-game series.
Wednesday was the second day in a row the Giants rallied after being riled by Guzman. On Tuesday, he flipped the bat after belting a go-ahead homer in the eighth, and the Giants scored twice in the bottom of the inning for a 5-4 triumph.
The Giants actually started Wednesday's tension with Guzman when Madison Bumgarner fired a one-out pitch in the second behind Guzman's back, prompting both benches to empty.
Guzman and Bumgarner began walking toward each other, with Bumgarner motioning for Guzman to bring it on. The umpires along with players and coaches from both teams intervened between the mound and home plate.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey made it sound as if the pitch got away from Bumgarner.
"Bum's trying to go at it," Bochy said. "He'll tell you we're not trying to throw the ball behind him. But these things happen. It is part of baseball."
Bumgarner had little to say about the incident.
"There's no need to go through that," Bumgarner said. "I've got no comment about that."
Posey said the Giants simply were trying to pitch away from Guzman's strength.
"We were just trying to go inside to a guy that's hurt us (with pitches) out over the plate," Posey said.
Once peace was restored, Guzman flied out to left, but he drilled a tiebreaking homer in the seventh that gave the Padres a 2-1 lead until the Giants staged their three-run rally that was highlighted by pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco's two-run triple.
Tony Abreu started the uprising with a one-out single. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez followed with a hit-and-run single to right before Blanco's drive to right-center.
"I just tried to put a good swing on it, being aggressive," Blanco said. "It's not easy to come from the bench."
"He's really come through in the clutch, which he did today ...," Bochy said. "He's having a real nice season and getting better and better."
Marco Scutaro punctuated the rally with a run-scoring single. Sergio Romo closed out Bumgarner's third straight win, and seventh overall, for his 18th save.
Suddenly, the Giants are showing signs of emerging from a slide that had seen them go 12-19 over 31 games before winning the past two.
Bumgarner (7-4) and Posey said the Giants are somewhat more energized with the prospect of third baseman Pablo Sandoval and center fielder Angel Pagan returning soon from foot and hamstring injuries, respectively.
By the time the Giants play the Dodgers on Monday, it's conceivable that Sandoval, Pagan and shortstop Brandon Crawford, not in the lineup Wednesday because of sprained fingers, will be back in the lineup.
It also doesn't hurt knowing the Marlins are in town for a four-game set and the Giants will miss ace Jose Fernandez, who pitched Wednesday.
"Everybody feels pretty good about where we're at and how things are turning around for us," Bumgarner said.
Miami (Tom Koehler 0-5) at Giants (Chad Gaudin 2-1), 7:15 p.m., CSNBA