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San Diego Padres (76-83) at San Francisco Giants (86-73)
Friday, September 26 - 10:15 PM EST
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
San Francisco has secured its third postseason berth in the last five seasons, but don’t expect manager Bruce Bochy to rest his regulars Friday when the Giants continue their four-game series against the visiting San Diego Padres. The Giants are one game behind Pittsburgh for the first wild-card spot and eager to build some positive momentum before next Wednesday’s contest. There were several encouraging signs in Thursday’s 9-8 victory as Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and Brandon Belt homered and drove in two runs.
With center fielder Angel Pagan (back) out for the rest of the season and left fielder Michael Morse (oblique) questionable to return in time for the wild-card game, the Giants began exploring their options by starting first baseman Travis Ishikawa in left field on Thursday. San Francisco has received little production from outfielders Juan Perez, Gregor Blanco and Chris Dominguez, and Gary Brown has just two at-bats this month. Catcher Yasmani Grandal has hit safely in seven of his last eight games for San Diego, which has won eight of its last 11.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres RH Ian Kennedy (12-13, 3.76 ERA) vs. Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (8-12, 3.96)
Kennedy is looking to repeat his strong outing from last Sunday, when he held the Giants to two runs over 6 2/3 innings in the Padres’ 8-2 victory. The 29-year-old has a career-high 201 strikeouts this season while yielding just 16 home runs over 194 innings. Kennedy is 8-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 19 career starts against San Francisco, and he has had great success against Hunter Pence (5-for-24) and Sandoval (11-for-48).
Vogelsong took the loss against Kennedy last Sunday after allowing four runs (two earned) over five frames. The Giants have lost six of his last eight starts, but he has pitched well at home this season with a 2.95 ERA in 15 turns. Will Venable is 8-for-19 against Vogelsong, who is 4-5 with a 5.46 ERA in 17 career games (nine starts) against the Padres, including 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts at AT&T Park.
1. The Giants have won 11 of their last 13 home games.
2. Padres CF Cameron Maybin missed Thursday’s game due to an unspecified health issue and is listed as day-to-day.
3. Bochy indicated that LHP Madison Bumgarner will likely get the start for the Giants in next Wednesday’s wild-card game.
PREDICTION: Padres 6, Giants 3