San Francisco (87-73) at San Diego (74-86)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Sat Oct 3, 2009
  • TV: CSBA, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Francisco Giants won’t reach the postseason, but at least they won’t go winless in San Diego.

Looking for a season-high sixth straight victory and second in a row at Petco Park, the Giants continue their series Saturday night against the Padres, who have shaken up their front office on the final weekend of the season.

Pablo Sandoval(notes) and Juan Uribe(notes) hit solo homers in San Francisco’s 7-2 win at San Diego in Friday’s series opener. The victory was the Giants’ first in seven games this year at Petco, where they’d scored 11 total runs in losing the previous six.

“They’ve wreaked havoc on us,” manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants’ official Web site. “They’ve been a thorn in our side all year.”

The result came the same night San Diego (74-86) fired longtime general manager Kevin Towers, a person familiar with the situation said. The Padres said CEO Jeff Moorad will address the media Saturday afternoon.

Under Towers, in his 14th season as Padres GM, the club won four NL West titles and reached the 1998 World Series. Though San Diego is headed for its second straight losing season, it’s 36-24 since July 28.

Early speculation on a successor centered around Paul DePodesta, the former Dodgers GM who has been with the Padres since July 2006.

“Obviously, Kevin and I have a long history and a great relationship,” said Bochy, who spent 11 years as the Padres manager. “He’s done a great job. If that happens, I’m stunned. I feel awful for him.”

Bochy’s current club improved to 7-9 against San Diego this season after breaking open a close game Friday by scoring six times in the seventh inning.

Sandoval, batting .329 in his first full major league season, has homered twice in his last four contests, but was 2 for 24 at Petco this season before Friday’s home run.

The Giants (87-73) hope Matt Cain(notes) (14-7, 2.88 ERA) can conclude a stellar season on a positive note when he takes the ball in this contest.

Cain allowed three hits and struck out eight in eight scoreless innings of a 5-1 win over Chicago on Sunday to set a career high for wins. He had a 9.42 ERA while losing his three previous starts.

Cain, who turned 25 on Thursday, has already thrown 212 2-3 innings. He needs to go at least 5 1-3 to set a career high for innings pitched.

“It’s one of those things where you’re going to sit back in the offseason and think, ‘I did this year,’” Cain told the Giants’ official Web site. “‘What can I do to get better?’”

The right-hander is 4-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 17 career starts against San Diego, including 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in two this season.

Adrian Gonzalez(notes), who’s batting .293 with two homers and three doubles against Cain, had one of four hits Friday for San Diego. The All-Star first baseman is 5 for 14 with two home runs and four RBIs in his last four games against the Giants.

Wade LeBlanc(notes) (2-1, 4.35) takes the ball for the Padres. He allowed four runs in five innings, but didn’t receive a decision in an 8-5 loss at Arizona on Saturday .

The rookie left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts since being recalled from Triple-A Portland.

LeBlanc allowed two runs in seven innings to earn the victory in his only start against San Francisco, a 4-2 road win Sept. 9.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Cain SF vs. W. LeBlanc TOR
14-8 Record 3-1
2.89 ERA 3.69
171 K 30
73 BB 19
1.18 WHIP 1.17


Saturday, Oct 3