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NL West-leading Giants begin set with Padres

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants look to pad their lead in the National League West Monday night when they welcome the San Diego Padres to AT&T Park for the opener of a three-game series.

San Francisco, which holds a 1 1/2-game division lead over Colorado, is eyeing up a season-best fifth straight victory after sweeping a weekend interleague series over the Cleveland Indians. It was the club's first series sweep in interleague play since 2011.

San Francisco held Cleveland to five runs during the three-game series. Brandon Hicks hit a walk-off, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to seal Sunday's 4-1 victory.

"You always remember these," said Hicks, who is vying to become the team's everyday second baseman. "It's just an awesome feeling being able to help the team win in that kind of way."

San Diego salvaged a four-game split with Washington thanks to Sunday's 4-2 triumph, as Ian Kennedy struck out nine batters and allowed just one run over seven innings. The Padres turned in a solid all-around effort after compiling as many errors as hits (three) in Saturday's 4-0 setback.

"What a difference 24 hours makes," manager Bud Black said. "I liked the way our guys bounced back. They put yesterday behind them and we won a ballgame on the road against a good team."

Offensive consistency has been hard to come by for the Padres, who have scored the fewest runs of any team in the majors. With Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley still sidelined, they were no doubt happy to see outfielder Cameron Maybin back from the disabled list on Sunday.

"We felt we wanted to get him out here and in a game," Black said. "You don't want to put it all on one guy, because they all have got to do it."

Black will give the ball to right-hander Tyson Ross for Monday's series opener. Ross faced the Giants on April 18 and tossed eight shutout innings while fanning nine. However, in his next outing Ross gave up five earned runs on nine hits at Milwaukee.

For San Francisco, lefty Madison Bumgarner is coming off a complete game at Coors Field on Tuesday. He threw 97 pitches and gave up just two solo homers in that game but took the loss. Now, he'll try to avoid losing a third straight start for the first time since late in the 2012 season.

The Giants have won their last seven home games started by Bumgarner against the Padres.

The Padres won two out of three at home against the Giants earlier this month. The teams combined for only 14 runs in that series. However, San Francisco has not lost a home series to the Padres since 2010.

04/28 10:21:09 ET

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