The San Francisco Giants continue to have major problems scoring at Petco Park.
After pitching a one-hit shutout against the Giants in his last start, Latos will be looking for a similar result as the Padres try to improve to 8-0 in the season series against San Francisco on Tuesday night.
The Giants (21-16) totaled 22 runs while going 2-7 in San Diego last year, and they’ve managed only five runs in their first four games there this season.
In fact, their offense has been punchless against the Padres anywhere in 2010. San Francisco has scored two runs or fewer in each of its seven losses to San Diego, a big reason the surprising Padres (23-15) lead the Giants by 1 1/2 games atop the NL West.
“It’s been very similar,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after his team’s 3-1 loss Monday. “Their pitching looked better. We’re not hitting, we’re not scoring. It’s pretty simple.”
Both times Latos (3-3, 3.32 ERA) has faced the Giants, San Diego has won 1-0. He pitched seven innings at home on April 20, then capped the Padres’ three-game sweep in San Francisco with his first career complete game Thursday.
Latos, who said “everything came together,” did not walk a batter and struck out six. He had been nearly as good in his previous outing, allowing two hits in eight innings of a 7-0 win at Houston on May 7.
“He pitched brilliantly last start against the Astros and followed that up with another gem,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “It’s the only way I can describe it.”
The 6-foot-7 Latos was originally signed by scout Joe Bochy, the older brother of the Giants manager. Bruce Bochy managed the Padres from 1995-2006.
“He’s a big kid with a big arm and tons of talent,” Bruce Bochy said. “He had good command of all his pitches and he showed good poise, too. We got a great pitching effort by (Jonathan Sanchez(notes)). That gets lost in all this.”
Sanchez (2-3, 2.66) will oppose Latos for the third time after holding the Padres to one run and three hits in eight innings Thursday. He also was a tough-luck loser to Latos last month, giving up one hit and one run in seven innings at San Diego.
Most visitors to Petco Park have had little margin for error. The Padres’ team ERA, a major league-leading 2.60 overall, is 2.10 at home, where opponents are batting .205.
“We’ve been playing good baseball, consistently going out every day and doing the little things,” Richard said. “You’ve got to give credit to the little details being taken care of - situational hitting, pitching late in the game, throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters. All the little things in baseball that you’re taught to do, if you do them well, you end up winning games.”