National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 18th (All times eastern)
San Francisco Giants (65-54) at San Diego Padres (52-69), 8:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Barry Zito (9-8, 4.29) San Diego - Eric Stults (3-2, 2.45)
(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants look to keep the runs coming when they resume a three-game series tonight against the division-rival San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
The Giants pounded the Padres, 10-1, Friday night to kick off the set and registered a 15-4 advantage in hits. Angel Pagan led the charge with three hits, two RBI and a run scored, while Marco Scutaro went deep for San Francisco, which took back the NL West lead from Los Angeles. The Giants are one-half game ahead of the Dodgers after they lost to Atlanta.
Starting pitcher Matt Cain drove in a run and held the hosts to a run and four hits in eight innings with six strikeouts and no walks. George Kontos hurled a scoreless ninth to close it out.
"That's always going to be a plus when the guys put up a big lead like that," said Cain. "We have a great team and we have a good group of guys. It's just a matter of us putting it together."
San Francisco opened a six-game road trip on a high note and has won nine of its last 14 games. It will open a big three-game set at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
Barry Zito will try to pitch the Giants to a series win when he takes the mound Saturday night. Zito is only 1-2 in his last five starts, however, and did not record a decision in Sunday's 9-6 victory over Colorado. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to remain 9-8 on the season in 23 starts with a 4.29 earned run average.
"I lost my rhythm kind of through the middle innings," Zito said afterward. "But in the front and back of the outing, I felt pretty good about eliminating the timing issues that make the command go away."
Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland, is 5-3 in 11 road assignments this season and 4-9 with a 4.65 ERA in 20 career games (19 starts) against the Padres. The southpaw is just 1-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career appearances at Petco Park.
The Padres have lost four in a row and five of six games since winning six straight, and couldn't get much going offensively last night.
Everth Cabrera plated the lone run for the Padres, who have scored just two runs in their last four games. Padres starter Russ Ohlendorf was tagged for eight runs on six hits and two walks over 2 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"He just couldn't really stop any of the momentum that the Giants had," said Padres manager Bud Black of Ohlendorf. "Nothing in particular, just the ball not really driven down in the zone."
Eric Stults will take the mound for Black's ballclub tonight and has won consecutive trips to the hill. He delivered 5 1/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Cubs on Aug. 6, then held Atlanta to a run in 7 2/3 frames on Monday at Turner Field. He is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) in 2012.
Stults, a left-hander, is 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in eight career games, six of which have been starts, against the Giants.
The Padres have lost seven of 10 matchups with San Francisco this season and went 6-12 in the season series a year ago.
08/18 10:36:27 ET